Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta in Africa. The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq named after Tariq ibn Ziyad, it is known as the Straits of Gibraltar, the Gut of Gibraltar, the STROG in naval use, Bab Al Maghrib, "Gate of the West". In the Middle Ages, Muslims called it Al-Zuqaq, "The Passage", the Romans called it Fretum Gatitanum, in the ancient world it was known as the "Pillars of Hercules". Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles of ocean at the strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres which interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m. Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes; the Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.
On the northern side of the Strait are Spain and Gibraltar, while on the southern side are Morocco and Ceuta. Its boundaries were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules. There are several islets, such as the disputed Isla Perejil, that are claimed by both Morocco and Spain. Due to its location, the Strait is used for illegal immigration from Africa to Europe; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Strait of Gibraltar as follows: On the West. A line joining Cape Trafalgar to Cape Spartel. On the East. A line joining Europa Point to P. Almina; the seabed of the Strait is composed of synorogenic Betic-Rif clayey flysch covered by Pliocene and/or Quaternary calcareous sediments, sourced from thriving cold water coral communities. Exposed bedrock surfaces, coarse sediments and local sand dunes attest to the strong bottom current conditions at the present time. Around 5.9 million years ago, the connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean along the Betic and Rifan Corridor was progressively restricted until its total closure causing the salinity of the Mediterranean to rise periodically within the gypsum and salt deposition range, during what is known as the Messinian salinity crisis.
In this water chemistry environment, dissolved mineral concentrations and stilled water currents combined and occurred to precipitate many mineral salts in layers on the seabed. The resultant accumulation of various huge salt and mineral deposits about the Mediterranean basin are directly linked to this era, it is believed that this process took a short time, by geological standards, lasting between 500,000 and 600,000 years. It is estimated that, were the straits closed at today's higher sea level, most water in the Mediterranean basin would evaporate within only a thousand years, as it is believed to have done and such an event would lay down mineral deposits like the salt deposits now found under the sea floor all over the Mediterranean. After a lengthy period of restricted intermittent or no water exchange between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean basin 5.33 million years ago, the Atlantic-Mediterranean connection was reestablished through the Strait of Gibraltar by the Zanclean flood, has remained open since.
The erosion produced by the incoming waters seems to be the main cause for the present depth of the strait. The strait is expected to close again as the African Plate moves northward relative to the Eurasian Plate, but on geological rather than human timescales; the Strait has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of the hundreds of thousands of seabirds which use it every year to migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, including significant numbers of Scopoli's and Balearic shearwaters, Audouin's and lesser black-backed gulls and Atlantic puffins. A resident killer whale pod of some 36 individuals lives around the Strait, one of the few that are left in Western European waters; the pod may be facing extinction in the coming decades due to long term effects of PCB pollution. For full articles on the history of the north Gibraltar shore, see History of Gibraltar or History of Spain. For the full article on the history of the south Gibraltar shore, see History of Morocco.
Evidence of the first human habitation of the area by Neanderthals dates back to 125,000 years ago. It is believed that the Rock of Gibraltar may have been one of the last outposts of Neanderthal habitation in the world, with evidence of their presence there dating to as as 24,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of Homo sapiens habitation of the area dates back c. 40,000 years. The short distance between the two shores has served as a quick crossing point for various groups and civilizations throughout history, including Carthaginians campaigning against Rome, Romans travelling between the provinces of Hispania and Mauritania, Vandals raiding south from Germania through Western Rome and into North Africa in the 5th century and Berbers in the 8th–11th centuries, Spain and Portugal in the 16th century. Beginning in 1492, the straits began to play a certain cultural role in acting as a barrier against cross-strait conquest and the flow of culture and language that would n
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
A sea lane, sea road or shipping lane is a used route for vessels on oceans and large lakes. In the Age of Sail they were not only determined by the distribution of land masses but the prevailing winds, whose discovery was crucial for the success of long voyages. Sea lanes are important for trade by sea; the establishment of the North Atlantic sea lanes was inspired by the sinking of the US mail steamer SS Arctic by collision with the French steamer SS Vesta in October 1854 which resulted in the loss of over 300 lives. Lieutenant M. F. Maury of the US Navy first published a section titled "Steam Lanes Across the Atlantic" in his 1855 Sailing Directions proposing sea lanes along the 42 degree latitude. A number of international conferences and committees were held in 1866, 1872, 1887, 1889, 1891 all of which left the designation of sea lanes to the principal trans-Atlantic steamship companies at the time. In 1913–1914 the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea held in London again reaffirmed that the selection of routes across the Atlantic in both directions is left to the responsibility of the steamship companies.
Shipping lanes came to be by analysing the prevailing winds. The trade winds allowed ships to sail towards the west and the westerlies allowed ships to travel to the east quickly; as such, the sea lanes are chosen to take full advantage of these winds. Currents are similarly followed as well, which gives an advantage to the vessel; some routes, such as that from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, weren't able to take advantage of these natural factors. Main sea lanes may attract pirates. Pax Britannica was the period from 1815–1914 during which the British Royal Navy controlled most of the key maritime trade routes, suppressed piracy and the slave trade. During World War I, as German U-boats began hitting American and British shipping, the Allied trade vessels began to move out of the usual sea lanes to be escorted by naval ships. Although most ships no longer use sails, the wind still creates waves, this can cause heeling; as such following the overall direction of the trade winds and westerlies is still useful.
However, any vessel, not engaged in trading, or is smaller than a certain length, is best to avoid the lanes. This is not only because the slight chance of a collision with a large ship that can cause a smaller ship to sink, but because large vessels are much less maneuverable than smaller ships, need much more depth. Smaller ships can thus take courses that are nearer to the shore. Unlike with road traffic, there is no exact "road" a ship must follow, so this can be done. Shipping lanes are the busiest parts of the sea, thus being a useful place for stranded boaters whose boats are sinking or people on a liferaft to boat to, be rescued by a passing ship. Although the shipping lanes are useful, they do pose threats to some people: Divers should stay clear of shipping lanes when performing dives. Small boats do best to avoid the lanes, in risk of conflicts with bigger ships; as the shipping lanes are large, sections of the lane exist which can be shallow or have some kind of obstruction. This threat is greatest when passing some narrows, such as between islands in the Indian Ocean as well as between islands in the Pacific Some shipping lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca off Indonesia and Malaysia, the waters off Somalia, are frequented by pirates operating independently or as privateers.
Passing ships run the risk of being held for ransom. The world's busiest shipping lane is the Dover Strait. 500-600 vessels per day traverse the narrow strait and in 1999 1.4 billion tonnes gross, carried by 62,500 vessels passed through the strait. Age of sail Sea lines of communication Roadstead
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was or desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, representing 0.7 % of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar-the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa- is only 14 km wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, in the south by Africa, it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is 4,000 km; the sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore to Libya, is 800 km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region; the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.
The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean ἡ θάλασσα or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα, ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα, or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς. The Romans called it Mare Mare Internum and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum; the term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus used it in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. It means'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius, -āneus; the Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος, from μέσος and γήινος, from γῆ. The original meaning may have been'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than'the sea enclosed by land'; the Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was known as the "Great Sea" or as "The Sea". Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon'the Middle Sea'. In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ'the Middle Sea'.
In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm'the Sea of the Romans' or'the Roman Sea'. At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām'the Sea of Syria' and Baḥr al-Maghrib'the Sea of the West'. In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz'the White Sea'; the origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, used in Ottoman Turkish, it is the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα. Johann Knobloch claims that in Classical Antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north, yellow or blue to east, red to south, white to west; this would explain both the Turkish Akdeniz and the Arab nomenclature described above. Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were influenced by their proximity to the sea.
It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate and access to the sea, c
Gibdock is a shipyard in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It operated as a Royal Navy Dockyard. HM Dockyard, Gibraltar was first developed in the 18th century. After the Capture of Gibraltar, victualling facilities were provided from a small quay around what is now the North Mole, but a lack of berths prevented further development. In the 1720s, the building of the South Mole was accompanied by the establishment of a small dockyard facility consisting of a careening wharf, mast house and various workshops; the yard remained small in scale for a century and a half, although coaling facilities were added in the 1840s. In 1871 Captain Augustus Phillimore made the proposal that a new naval dockyard should be constructed in Gibraltar. Phillimore's scheme lay dormant in the Admiralty for 22 years before it was put to Parliament in 1895; the idea was to take just under £ 1.5 m pounds. In 1896 the scheme was further extended with the creation of new moles and three dry docks and a new budget of £4.5m pounds.
The transformation was large and the government were still passing enabling legislation in 1905. The three large graving docks known as docks Number 1, 2 and 3, were excavated on what had been the site of the old naval yard. Number 3 dock, the smallest at just over 50,000 tons of water capacity, was the first to be named in 1903 and was named King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra named the 60,000 ton Number 2 dock after herself in 1906, the largest, Number 1 dock, which could hold over 100,000 tons of water, was called the Prince and Princess of Wales dock, having been named by their Royal Highnesses in 1907, subsequently King George V and Queen Mary. In 1937 the warning of the Chiefs of Staff gave way to rearmament; the danger of a war being settled in the Mediterranean meant that No. 1 and No. 2 dock were extended so that Gibraltar could handle aircraft carriers and the new larger battleships. The dockyard was used extensively by the Royal Navy, docking many of the Navy’s most prestigious ships.
In the early 1980s a decision by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence to cut back the Royal Navy surface fleet meant that the dockyard was no longer financially viable. In 1984 the dockyard passed into the hands of A&P Group. A government grant and a prospect of lucrative Royal Fleet Auxiliary refit contracts did not help A&P Group however and they passed the yard into the hands of the Government of Gibraltar. A company was set up to run the yard and it became known as Gibraltar Ship Repair. In the early 1990s the dockyard was taken over by Norway-based engineering and construction services company, Kværner, who ran the yard until 1996, the yard closed for a period of 18 months. In 1997 the British shipbuilding company Cammell Laird based in Merseyside, were looking to expand their operations outside the UK and in early 1998 a management team arrived at Gibraltar; the yard was reopened and the first ship docked within a few weeks. The dockyard's future was again put at risk when in early 2001 Cammell Laird Group PLC ran into difficulties, which led to its closure.
When it became inevitable that Cammell Laird Group PLC was to close, senior management in Gibraltar, with the backing of the Government of Gibraltar, were successful in their quest to source the necessary financial assistance to keep the company's Gibraltar operations running. During the first quarter of 2006, Cammell Laird Group was sold in its entirety to private investors; the new owner's intention was to continue with the existing business. The company continued to trade as Cammell Laird Gibraltar Ltd until 7 December 2009 when it was renamed Gibdock following the sale of the rights in the historic brand to Northwestern Shiprepairers & Shipbuilders in the UK for an undisclosed sum. Gibdock remains a ship repair and conversion facility, providing repair services to all sectors of the maritime industry. Gibdock.com
Bunkering is the supplying of fuel for use by ships, includes the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunker tanks. The term originated in the days of steamships, when the fuel, was stored in bunkers. Nowadays the term bunker is applied to the storage of petroleum products in tanks, the practice and business of refueling ships. Bunkering operations are located at seaports, they include the storage of "bunker" fuels and the provision of the fuel to vessels. In many maritime contracts, such as charterparties, contracts for carriage of goods by sea, marine insurance policies, the shipowner or ship operator is required to ensure that the ship is "seaworthy". Seaworthiness requires not only that the ship is sound and properly crewed, but that it is fuelled at the start of the voyage. If the ship operator wishes to bunker en route, this must be provided for in a written agreement, or the interruption of the voyage may be deemed to be deviation. If the vessel runs out of fuel in mid-ocean, this is serious breach, allowing the insurer to cancel a policy, allowing a consignee to make a cargo claim.
It may give rise to a salvage situation. In Nigeria, "bunkering" means the clandestine siphoning off or diverting of oil from pipelines and storage facilities; such bunkering is performed crudely, causing both accidents and pollution