Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede


  • Antoon Kuijpers
  • Camilla S. Andresen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_166-1


Fjords are defined as deep, elongated arms of the sea that have been (or are presently being) excavated or modified by land-based glaciers (Syvitski et al., 1987).


The term “fjord” has its origin in the Old Norse word “fjorthr” which also included freshwater lakes. However, according to above definition, we will deal here exclusively with deep, semi-enclosed coastal inlets that generally are long relative to their width. Globally, almost all fjords are found at higher latitude, i.e., north of 43° and south of 42°. The longest (>200 km) fjords are Scoresby Sund, East Greenland, and Sognefjord in Norway. The inland termination and seaward opening of the fjord are referred to as head and mouth, respectively. Fjord topography is often characterized by one or more submarine sills representing relict moraines or bedrock ridges. Sediments from fjord basins may provide high-resolution records of both marine and terrestrial environmental changes (Gilbert, 2000), with maximum...


Sediment Transport Model Bedrock Ridge Tidewater Glacier Seismic Layer Maximum Accumulation Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)CopenhagenDenmark