BAY OF FUNDY, an inlet of the North Atlantic, separating New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. It is 145 m. long and 48 m. wide at the mouth, but gradually narrows towards the head, where it divides into Chignecto Bay to the north, which subdivides into Shepody Bay and Cumberland Basin (the French Beaubassin), and Minas Channel, leading into Minas Basin, to the east and south. Off its western shore opens Passamaquoddy Bay, a magnificent sheet of deep water with good anchorage, receiving the waters of the St Croix river and forming part of the boundary between New Brunswick and the state of Maine. The Bay of Fundy is remarkable for the great rise and fall of the tide, which at the head of the bay has been known to reach 62 ft. In Passamaquoddy Bay the rise and fall is about 25 ft., which gradually increases toward the narrow upper reaches. At spring tides the water in the Bay of Fundy is 19 ft. higher than it is in Bay Verte, in Northumberland Strait, only 15 m. distant. Though the bay is deep, navigation is rendered dangerous by the violence and rapidity of the tide, and in summer by frequent fogs. At low tide, at such points as Moncton or Amherst, only an expanse of red mud can be seen, and the tide rushes in a bore or crest from 3 to 6 ft. in height. Large areas of fertile marshes are situated at the head of the bay, and the remains of a submerged forest show that the land has subsided in the latest geological period at least 40 ft. The bay receives the waters of the St Croix and St John rivers, and has numerous harbours, of which the chief are St Andrews (on Passamaquoddy Bay) and St John in New Brunswick, and Digby and Annapolis (on an inlet known as Annapolis Basin) in Nova Scotia. It was first explored by the Sieur de Monts (d. c. 1628) in 1604 and named by him La Baye Frangaise.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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