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There is little consistency in the use of "sound" in English-language place names.
A sound is often formed by the seas flooding a river valley. This produces a long inlet where the sloping valley hillsides descend to sea-level and continue beneath the water to form a sloping sea floor. The Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand are a good example of this type of formation.
Sometimes a sound is produced by a glacier carving out a valley on a coast then receding, or the sea invading a glacier valley. The glacier produces a sound that often has steep, near vertical sides that extend deep under water. The sea floor is often flat and deeper at the landward end than the seaward end, due to glacial moraine deposits. This type of sound is more properly termed a fjord (or fiord). The sounds in Fiordland, New Zealand, have been formed this way.
A sound generally connotes a protected anchorage. They can be part of most large islands.
In the more general northern European usage, a sound is a strait or the most narrow part of a strait. In Scandinavia and around the Baltic Sea, there are more than a hundred straits named Sund, mostly named for the island they separate from the continent or a larger island.
In contrast, the Sound is the internationally recognized, short name for the Øresund, the narrow stretch of water that separates Denmark and Sweden, and is the main waterway between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. It is also a colloquial short name, among others, for Plymouth Sound, England.
In areas explored by the British in the late 18th Century, particularly the northwest coast of North America, the term "sound" was applied to inlets containing large islands, such as Howe Sound in Vancouver and Puget Sound in Washington State. It was also applied to bodies of open water not fully open to the ocean, such as Caamaño Sound or Queen Charlotte Sound in Canada, or broadenings or mergings at the openings of inlets, like Cross Sound in Alaska and Fitz Hugh Sound in British Columbia.
In the United States, Long Island Sound separates Long Island from the eastern shores of the Bronx, Westchester County, and southern Connecticut, but on the Atlantic Ocean side of Long Island, the body of water between Long Island and its barrier beaches is termed the Great South Bay. Pamlico Sound is a similar lagoon that lies between North Carolina and its barrier beaches, the Outer Banks, in a similar situation. The Mississippi Sound separates the Gulf of Mexico from the mainland, along much of the gulf coasts of Alabama and Mississippi. On the West Coast, Puget Sound, by contrast, is a deep arm of the ocean.
The word sund is already documented in Old Norse and Old English as meaning "gap" (or "narrow access"). This suggests a relation to verbs meaning "to separate", such as absondern and aussondern (German), söndra (Swedish), sondre (Norwegian), as well as the English noun sin, German Sünde ("apart from God's law"), and Swedish synd. English has also the adjective "asunder" and the noun "sundry', and Swedish has the adjective sönder ("broken").
In Swedish and in both Norwegian languages, "sund" is the general term for any strait. In Swedish and Nynorsk, it is even part of names worldwide, such as in Swedish "Berings sund" and "Gibraltar sund", and in Nynorsk "Beringsundet" and "Gibraltarsundet".
Bodies of water called soundsEdit
- Broad Sound near Clairview, Queensland
- Camden Sound at Kuri Bay, Western Australia
- Cockburn Sound, Western Australia
- Denham Sound, part of Shark Bay in Western Australia
- King George Sound at Albany, Western Australia
- King Sound at Derby, Western Australia
- Montague Sound, near Bigge Island, Western Australia
- Noosa Sound, Noosa, Queensland
- York Sound, Western Australia
- Exuma Sound, bordered by Eleuthera, Cat Island and Great Exuma, among others
- Millars Sound, New Providence
- North Sound, Bimini
- Rock Sound, Eleuthera
- Great Sound, towards the island's northwest end
- Harrington Sound, towards the northeast end
- Little Sound, part of Great Sound
- Amet Sound on the northern coast of Nova Scotia on the Northumberland Strait
- Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia
- Baynes Sound between Denman Island and Vancouver Island, British Columbia
- Chatham Sound, off the North Coast of British Columbia
- Clayoquot Sound in Vancouver Island, British Columbia
- Cumberland Sound in Baffin Island's east coast
- Desolation Sound between the Discovery Islands and the coast of British Columbia
- Eclipse Sound between Baffin Island and Bylot Island in Nunavut
- Eureka Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
- Fitz Hugh Sound on the Central Coast of British Columbia
- Hamilton Sound between Fogo Island and the Island of Newfoundland
- Howe Sound, an inlet northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia
- Jones Sound between Devon Island and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut
- Kyuquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia
- Lancaster Sound between Devon Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut
- Massey Sound between Amund Ringnes Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
- Nansen Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
- Newman Sound in Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia
- Northumberland Sound between Maclean Strait and Norwegian Bay, Nunavut
- Owen Sound in Ontario
- Parry Sound in Ontario
- Peel Sound between Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island in Nunavut
- Quatsino Sound on northern Vancouver Island
- Queen Charlotte Sound off British Columbia
- Random Sound near Clarenville in Newfoundland and Labrador
- Roes Welcome Sound between Southampton Island and Hudson Bay's west shore in Nunavut
- Severn Sound in Ontario
- Viscount Melville Sound between Banks Island and Melville Island in Nunavut
- Frank Sound on Grand Cayman
- Little Sound on Grand Cayman
- North Sound on Grand Cayman
- South Hole Sound on Little Cayman
- South Sound on Grand Cayman
- Adventure Sound in East Falkland
- Berkeley Sound in East Falkland
- Byron Sound in West Falkland
- Choiseul Sound in East Falkland
- Falkland Sound between East Falkland and West Falkland
- The Sound of Chausey.
- Achill Sound, that separates Achill Island from the mainland
- Milford Sound
- Sutherland Sound
- Bligh Sound
- George Sound
- Caswell Sound
- Charles Sound
- Nancy Sound
- Thompson Sound
- Doubtful Sound
- Dagg Sound
- Breaksea Sound
- Dusky Sound
- Edwardson Sound (an arm of Chalky Inlet)
- Cunaris Sound (an arm of Chalky Inlet)
- Isthmus Sound (an arm of Preservation Inlet)
- Long Sound (an extension of Preservation Inlet)
- Dinagat Sound, separates the islands of Dinagat and Siargao
- Malampaya Sound, in the Province of Palawan. The Malampaya Natural Gas Project is named after this area because it is close to it.
- The Sound, another name in English for Øresund, a body of water between Sweden and Denmark
- On the coasts of (western) Baltic Sea and Norway there are more than a hundred straits named "Sund" (the Scandinavian and German version of "sound"), mostly in connection with the name of the island they divide from the continent or a mainland.
- Calf Sound between Isle of Man and the Calf of Man
- Heigham Sound, connected by Candle Dyke to the River Thurne, Norfolk
- Plymouth Sound in Plymouth, Devon
- Sounds of Scotland
- Albemarle Sound in North Carolina
- Anna Maria Sound in Florida
- Back Sound in North Carolina
- Block Island Sound between Block Island and mainland Rhode Island
- Bogue Sound in North Carolina
- Breton Sound in Louisiana
- Broad Sound near Boston
- Calibogue Sound in South Carolina
- Chandeleur Sound in Louisiana
- Core Sound in North Carolina
- Croatan Sound in North Carolina
- Cross Sound in Alaska
- Currituck Sound in North Carolina
- Frederick Sound in Alaska
- Fishers Island Sound between Fishers Island, New York and Connecticut
- Hobe Sound in Florida
- Kotzebue Sound in Alaska
- Long Island Sound between Long Island, New York and Connecticut
- Mississippi Sound in Mississippi and Alabama
- Nantucket Sound off Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Norton Sound in Alaska
- Ossabaw Sound near Savannah, Georgia
- Pamlico Sound in North Carolina
- Pine Island Sound near Cape Coral, Florida
- Plum Island Sound in Plum Island, Massachusetts
- Port Royal Sound in South Carolina
- Prince William Sound in Alaska
- Puget Sound in Washington
- Rhode Island Sound off Rhode Island
- Roanoke Sound in North Carolina
- St. Catherine's Sound in Liberty County, Georgia
- Saint Helena Sound near Beaufort, South Carolina
- St. George Sound in Appalachicola Bay, Florida
- St. Simons Sound in Glynn County, Georgia
- Salisbury Sound in Alaska
- Santa Rosa Sound in the Florida Panhandle
- Sitka Sound in Alaska
- Somes Sound in Mount Desert Island, Maine (arguably a fjard)
- Tangier Sound in Maryland & Virginia on Chesapeake Bay
- Vineyard Sound off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
- Wassaw Sound near Savannah, Georgia
- "sound-3". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "sound-4". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Baltic Straits". Chapter 2.3: International straits and canals. UNESCO Maritime Law. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Millars Sound". GeoNames. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "River Thurne: West Somerton to Candle Dyke including Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad". Peter's Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Cruising Guide. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
Media related to Sounds (geography) at Wikimedia Commons