Marine Gazetteer - place types

Place TypePlace categoryDescription
Abyssal PlainPhysicalAn extensive, flat, gently sloping or nearly level region at abyssal depths.
Abyssal ProvincesPhysicalThe abyssal provinces are separated by mid-ocean ridges and other bathyal topography creating deep basins and/or are distinguished by varying levels of POC flux to the seafloor.
AnchoragePhysicalwhere a ship lies at anchor
ApronPhysicalA gently dipping surface, underlain primarily by sediment, at the base of any steeper slope. ACUF defines it as 'a gentle slope with a generally smooth surface of the sea floor, characteristically found around groups of islands or seamounts.'
AquiferPhysicalAn aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well.
Archipelagic watersPhysicalWaters falling within archipelagic baselines
ArchipelagoPhysicalGroup of nearby lying islands that form a geographical entity.
Arctic Marine AreaPhysicalThere are many ways to divide the Arctic marine region—by ecosystem/ecological characteristics, by administrative criteria, or by some combination of the two. However, effective monitoring of biodiversity requires that an ecosystem-based approach be used for choosing areas.
ArmPhysicalA part, usually narrow and elongate, of a feature projecting from the main body, e.g. arm of the sea
ArrondissementAdministrativeThe administrative unit in Belgium that lies between 'Gemeente' and Province.
Autonomous RegionAdministrativePart of a country that has certain autonomy.
BankPhysicalAn elevation of the sea floor, over which the depth of water is relatively shallow, but sufficient for safe surface navigation.
BarPhysicalIntertidal flats in an estuary that have no connection with the mainland. A bar in a river is an elevated region of sediment (such as sand or gravel) that has been deposited by the flow.
BasePhysicalThe bottom supporting part of a structure
BasinPhysicalA depression, in the sea floor, more or less equidimensional in plan and of variable extent.
BayPhysicalRound indentation of the sea in the continent.
BeachPhysicalFlat strip of gravel or sand bordering the sea or an inland water.
BeaconPhysicala fixed artificial navigation mark
BightPhysicalRound indentation of the sea in the continent.
Bird Directive AreaAdministrative
BluffPhysicala steep hill or small cliff (often of limestone) next to a river
Boat liftPhysicalA boat lift, ship lift, or lift lock is a machine for transporting boats between water at two different elevations, and is an alternative to the canal lock and the canal inclined plane. It may be either vertically moving, like the ship lifts in Germany, Belgium, the lift at "Les Fontinettes" in France or the Anderton boat lift in England, or rotational, like the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.
BorderlandPhysicalA region adjacent to a continent, normally occupied by or bordering a shelf and sometimes emerging as islands, that is irregular or blocky in plan or profile, with depths well in excess of those typical of a shelf.
BoroughAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
BreakwaterPhysicalBreakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defense or to protect an anchorage from the effects of both weather and longshore drift.
Building, ranchPhysical
ButtressPhysicalstructure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall, or rather its geographical equivalent
CalderaPhysicalA collapsed or partially-collapsed seamount, commonly of annular shape.
CanalPhysicalMan-made waterway.
CantonAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in France.
CanyonPhysicalA relatively narrow, deep depression with steep sides, the bottom of which generally deepens continuously, developed characteristically on some continental slopes.
ChannelPhysicalA narrow, natural connection between seas.
CliffsPhysicala significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure
CoastPhysicalPart of the land that is adjacent to the sea.
ColPhysicalmountain pass or low point between two hills
CommuneAdministrativeThe lowest administrative unit in a lot of countries.
Contiguous zoneAdministrativeA band of water extending from the outer edge of the territorial sea to up to 24 nautical miles (44.4 km; 27.6 mi) from the baseline
ContinentAdministrativeThe highest subdivision of the world. In VLIMAR, their are 7 continents distinguished: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America.
Continental MarginPhysicalThe zone, generally consisting of shelf, slope and continental rise, separating the continent from the deep sea floor or abyssal plain. Occasionally a trench may be present in place of a continental rise.
Continental ShelfPhysicalA zone adjacent to a continent (or around an island) and extending from the low water line to a depth at which there is usually a marked increase of slope towards oceanic depths.
Continental SlopePhysical
Contourite Depositional SystemPhysicalClustered drifts in a local area
Controlled flood zonePhysical
CordilleraPhysicalAn entire mountain system including the subordinate ranges, interior plateaus and basins.
CountryAdministrativeA high-level administrative unit that only has been used for the four divisions of the United Kingdom.
CountyAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
CovePhysicalpart of a coast which partly encloses an area of water
CragPhysicalA Cliff or vertical rock exposure in mountainous areas
CreekPhysicala inlet of the sea, narrower than a cove
CurrentPhysicalA moving watermass.
DamPhysicalA dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water.
DeelgemeenteAdministrativeThe subdivision of a 'Gemeente' in Belgium and the Netherlands.
DeepPhysicalA small depression in the seafloor.
DeltaPhysicalBranching river mouth.
DepartmentAdministrativeA high-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
Dependent StateAdministrativeA state that is dependent on another nation.
DepressionPhysicalA poorly defined sunken area, not indicated by contours
Disputed TerritoryAdministrative
DistrictAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
Diving spotPhysical
DivisionPhysicalmajor administrative regions (o.a. Bangladesh & New Zealand)
DriftPhysicalContourites are sedimentary units which are deposited or substantially reworked by alongslope bottom currents. They refer to the lithological unit and the terminology reflects the grainsize of the sediment. While drifts refer to the same sedimentary unit as a contourite, drifts are the morphological appearance of the sedimentary unit.
EEZAdministrativeIn international maritime law, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone extending from a state's coast over which the state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. Generally a state's EEZ extends 200 nautical miles out from its coast, except where resulting points would be closer to another country.
EscarpmentPhysicalAn elongated, characteristically linear, steep slope separating horizontal or gently sloping sectors of the sea floor in non-shelf areas. Also abbreviated to scarp.
EstuaryPhysicalRiver mouth under tidal influence.
FADA Faunistic RegionsPhysical AT : AfroTropical ANT : ANTarctic AU : AUstralasian NA : NeArctic NT : NeoTropical OL : OrientaL(Indomalaya) PAC : PACific(Oceania) PA : PalaeArctic
FanPhysicalA relatively smooth, fan-like, depositional feature normally sloping away from the outer termination of a canyon or canyon system. Also called cone.
FAO DivisionsAdministrative
FAO fishing areaAdministrativeSea areas that have been designated as fishing areas by FAO.
FAO Major Marine Fishing AreasAdministrative
FAO SubareasAdministrative
FAO SubdivisionsAdministrative
FAO SubunitsAdministrative
Federate stateAdministrativeA federated state (which may be referred to as a state, a province, a canton, a Land, etc.) is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union.[1] Such states differ from sovereign states, in that they have transferred a portion of their sovereign powers to a federal government.[2] Importantly, when states choose to federate, they lose their standing as persons of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity becomes the sovereign state, the person of international law.[3] A federated state holds administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.
FjordPhysicalNarrow, deep inlet in a mountainous coast that came into being during the ice age.
FlatPhysicalNonspeciefic 'flat' marine area.
Floristic RegionPhysicalA Floristic Region or Phytochorion, in phytogeography, is a geographic area with a relatively uniform composition of plant species. Adjacent phtyochoria do not usually have a sharp boundary, but rather a soft one, a transitional area in which many species from both regions overlap.
Former administrative divisionAdministrative
Former NationAdministrativeA nation that doesn't exist anymore.
FortAdministrativea defensive structure or earthworks
Fracture ZonePhysicalAn extensive linear zone of irregular topography, mountainous or faulted, characterized by steepsided or asymmetrical ridges, clefts, troughs or escarpments.
FrontPhysicalThe dividing line between different water masses.
FurrowPhysicalA closed, linear, narrow, shallow depression.
Gas FieldPhysicalSea area where gas is drilled.
GatePhysicalan opening in a wall or fence, in this case stone walls or an entry between vertical surrounding concretions
General RegionPhysicalArea with a specific name that can't be classified otherwise.
General Sea AreaPhysicalSea area with a specific name that can't be classified otherwise.
GlacierPhysicalslowly collapsing field of ice
GovernorateAdministrativeadministrative division in several countries
GulfPhysicalA large bay.
GullyPhysicala landform created by running water eroding sharply into a hillside. Gullies resemble large ditches or small valleys, but are metres to tens of metres in height and width
GuyotPhysicalA seamount having a comparatively smooth flat top. Also called tablemount.
HAB Region (Harmful Algal Bloom, Harmful Algal Information System)Administrative
HamletAdministrative hamlet is a type of settlement. The definition of hamlet varies by country. It usually refers to a small settlement in a rural area, or a component of a larger settlement or municipality.
HeightsPhysicalseries of points (usually on the terrain surface, such as a mountain top) vertically above a reference surface such as mean sea level
Hill(s)PhysicalAn isolated (or group of) elevation(s), smaller than a SEAMOUNT.
Historical fishing areasAdministrativeMap of the (historical) fishing areas of Belgian sea fisheries:
Historical undersea featurePhysicalAn undersea feature whose existence has been subsequently disproved.
HolePhysicalA small local depression, often steep sided, in the sea floor.
Hydro-electric power stationPhysical
Hydrothermal ventPhysicalHydrothermal Field
Ice SheetPhysicalA mass of ice and snow of considerable thickness and large area. Ice sheets may be resting on rock or floating. Ice sheets of less than about 50,000 square km resting on rock are called ice caps
Ice ShelfPhysicalA floating ice sheet of considerable thickness attached to a coast. Ice shelves are usually of great horizontal extent and have a level or gently undulating surface. They are nourished by the accumulation of snow and often by seaward extension of land glaciers. Limited areas may be aground. The seaward edge is termed an ice front
IcefallPhysicala portion of some glaciers characterized by rapid flow and a chaotic crevassed surface
ICES AreasAdministrativeThe ICES Statistical Areas delineates the divisions and subdivisions of FAO Major Fishing area 27. The ICES Statistical Areas are used as bounding areas for calculation of fish statistics, e.g. catch per unit effort (CPUE) and stock estimates.
ICES EcoregionAdministrativeICES EcoRegions are largescale management units that are used in ICES advisory reports and were first referenced in the ACFM/ACME report of 2004 (now ACOM) [].
ICES Statistical RectanglesAdministrative
IHO Sea AreaPhysical
Inhabited PlaceAdministrativePlace with permanent or temporary habitation.
InletPhysicalSmall indentation of the sea in the continent.
Internal watersPhysicalWaters on the landward side of the baseline of a nation's territorial waters, except in archipelagic states. It includes waterways such as rivers and canals, and sometimes the water within small bays.
IOS regionPhysicalPacific and Arctic Regions
IslandPhysicalA land mass that is totally enclosed by water and that doesn't form a continent.
Island GroupPhysicalGroup of nearby lying islands that form a geographical entity.
IsthmusPhysicala narrow strip of land connecting two larger land masses and bordered by water
Joint regime (EEZ)AdministrativeA geographical area delimited by agreement between two or more countries where with specific arrangements in relation to the exploration and exploitation of natural marine resources.
Knoll(s)PhysicalAn elevation somewhat smaller than a SEAMOUNT and of rounded profile, characteristically isolated or as a cluster on the sea floor.
LagoonPhysicalA small lake that is separated from the sea by a long and narrow tongue of land.
LakePhysicalA basin filled with water that is totally enclosed by water.
LandAdministrativeThe three traditional parts, essentially three collectives of provinces, in Sweden
Land basinPhysical
Landscape Protection AreaAdministrative
Large Marine EcosystemPhysical
Ledge(s)PhysicalA relatively flat projection of rock usually extending from a shoreline.
LeveePhysicalA depositional natural embankment bordering a canyon, valley or seachannel on the ocean floor.
Light(house)PhysicalTower with a light serving for navigation.
LobePhysicalA protuberance of bathymetric contours having a broad tonguelike or lobate plan.
Longhurst ProvincePhysical
Lower Bathyal ProvincesPhysicalThe lower bathyal includes both the slopes of continents as well as ridges, island slopes, and several thousand seamounts, about half of which extend upward into the bathyal zone (Clark et al., 2011).
LowlandPhysicalis any broad expanse of land with a general low level
Man-made structureAdministrative
Marine BioregionAdministrativeCanada’s marine protected areas network is being advanced in five priority marine bioregions: the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Scotian Shelf, the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves, the Western Arctic, and the Northern Shelf.
Marine Ecoregion of the World (MEOW)AdministrativeSpalding, et al. 2007. Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. Bioscience 57(7):573-582.
Marine ParkAdministrative
Marine Protected Area (MPA)Administrative
Marine ProvincePhysicalSpalding, et al. 2007. Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. Bioscience 57(7):573-582.
Marine RegionAdministrative
Marine SubregionAdministrativePart of the Marine Regions (union EEZ/IHO)
Marsh(es)Physicala wetland dominated by grass-like vegetation
MesaPhysicalAn isolated, extensive, flat-topped elevation on the shelf, with relative steep sides.
Mesopelagic ecoregionsPhysical
Military DomainPhysical
Mineral Rights AreasAdministrative
MoatPhysicalAn annular depression that may not be continuous, located at the base of many SEAMOUNTS, oceanic islands and other isolated elevations.
MoundPhysicalA low, isolated, rounded hill.
Mountain rangePhysicala series of mountains
Mountain(s)PhysicalWell-delineated subdivision(s) of a large and complex positive feature.
MSFD Marine regionsPhysical
MSFD Marine subregionsPhysical
Mud FlatPhysical
Mud VolcanoPhysical
NAFO AreaAdministrative
NationAdministrativeThe highest administrative unit.
National DistrictAdministrative
National DivisionAdministrativeA high-level administrative unit.
National ParkAdministrative
Natura 2000 Site of Community Importance (SCI, EU Habitats Directive)Administrativeadministrative
Natura 2000 Special Protection Area (SPA, EU Birds Directive)Administrativeadministrative
Natura 2000 Special Protection Area and Site of Community Importance (SPA and SCI, EU Birds and Habitats Directive)Administrativeadministrative
Natural ReserveAdministrative
Northwest Atlantic Hydrographic RegionsAdministrative
NunatakPhysicala mountain top that is not covered by land ice (see glaciation and ice age), and protrudes out of a surrounding glacier
NunataksPhysicala series of Nunatasks
OblastAdministrativeType of country subdivision of Bulgaria, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and the now-defunct Soviet Union, ...
Occupied TerritoryAdministrative
OceanPhysicalVery large sea between different continents.
Oil FieldPhysicalSea area where oil is drilled.
Oil fieldPhysicalA geographic region (land or sea) with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum (crude oil) from below ground.
OSPAR BoundaryAdministrative
OSPAR RegionAdministrative
Overlapping claimAdministrativeAn area where the EEZ claims of two or more coastal states overlaps
Overseas TerritoryAdministrative
PassPhysicala low place in a mountain range allowing easier passage
PassagePhysicalA narrow break in a RIDGE or a RISE. Also called GAP.
PeakPhysicalA prominent elevation either pointed or of a very limited extent across the summit.
Pierre NoirePhysical
Pingo(s)PhysicalA more or less conical mound of fine unconsolidated material generally containing an ice core
PinnaclePhysicalAny high tower or spire-shaped pillar of rock, or coral, alone or cresting a summit.
PitPhysicalSmall depression in a river bed.
PlainPhysicalAn extensive, flat, gently sloping or nearly level undersea region.
PlatePhysicalIntertidal flats in an estuary that have no connection with the mainland.
PlateauPhysicalA flat or nearly flat elevation of considerable areal extent, dropping off abruptly on one or more sides.
PromontoryPhysicalA major SPUR-like protrusion of the continental SLOPE extending to the deep seafloor. Characteristically, the crest deepens seaward.
Protected AreaAdministrative
Province (administrative)AdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
Province (physical)PhysicalA region identifiable by a group of similar physiographic features whose characteristics are markedly in contrast with surrounding areas.
RealmPhysicalSpalding, et al. 2007. Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. Bioscience 57(7):573-582.
ReefPhysicalA mass of rock or other indurated material lying at or near the sea surface that may constitute a hazard to surface navigation.
RegionAdministrativeA high-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
RepublicAdministrativePolitic division in the Russian federation, Bosnia Herzegovina (Republika), Serbia and Montenegro
Research StationPhysical
RidgePhysical(a) An elongated narrow elevation of varying complexity having steep sides. (b) An elongated narrow elevation, often separating ocean BASINS. (c) The linked major mid-oceanic mountain systems of global extent. Also called MIDOCEANIC RIDGE.
RimPhysicalA rocky outer edge of a volcanic crater
RisePhysical(a) A broad elevation that rises gently and generally smoothly from the sea floor. (b) The linked major mid-oceanic mountain systems of global extent. Also called midoceanic ridge.
RiverPhysicalA natural water current that always flows out in another river or stream but never in a sea.
River OutletPhysical
RoadsteadPhysicalan open anchorage affording less protection than a harbor
RocksPhysicala naturally occurring aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids
SaddlePhysicalA broad pass or col, resembling in shape a riding saddle, in a RIDGE or between contiguous elevations.
Salt MarshPhysical
Sampling StationPhysicalStandard sampling sation
SandbankPhysicalShallow accumulation of sand that rises never above sealevel but alltough forms a substantial hazard for navigation.
Sandbank SystemPhysicalThe aggregate of adjoining sandbanks and swales.
SeaPhysicalA large surface salt water that covers a large part of the world
Sea floorPhysicalbottom of the ocean
SeachannelPhysicalA continuously sloping elongated discrete depression found in fans or abyssal plains and customarily bordered by levees on one or both sides.
Seamount ChainPhysicalA linear or arcuate alignment of discrete seamounts, with their bases clearly separated.
Seamount ProvincePhysical
Seamount(s)PhysicalA discrete (or group of) large isolated elevation(s), greater than 1,000m in relief above the sea floor, characteristically of conical form.
SeaVoX SeaArea - level 1Administrative
SeaVoX SeaArea - level 2Administrative
SeaVoX SeaArea - level 3Administrative
SeaVoX SeaArea - level 4Administrative
SeaVoX SeaArea - regionAdministrative
SeaVoX SeaArea - sub-regionAdministrative
Shelf EdgePhysicalThe line along which there is marked increase of slope at the seaward margin of a CONTINENTAL (or island) SHELF. Also called SHELF BREAK.
ShoalPhysicalAn offshore hazard to surface navigation with substantially less clearance than the surrounding area and composed of unconsolidated material.
SillPhysicalA sea floor barrier of relatively shallow depth restricting water movement between BASINS.
SlopePhysicalThe deepening sea floor out from the shelfedge to the upper limit of the continental rise, or the point where there is a general decrease in steepness.
SnowfieldPhysicalan extensive terrain covered by a smooth surface of snow. Normally the term is applied to mountainous and glacial terrain
SoundPhysicalA narrow, natural connection between seas.
SpitPhysicalA spit is a deposition landform found off coasts. A spit is a type of bar or beach that develops where a re-entrant occurs. Spits are formed by the movement of sediment along a shore by a process known as longshore drift (wikipedia).
SpurPhysicalA subordinate elevation or ridge protruding from a larger feature, such as a plateau or island foundation.
Stack(s)PhysicalHigh and precipitous detached pillar of rock near shore
StateAdministrativeA high-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
StationPhysicalA place where there is permanent human habitation and infrastructure serving as a base for scientific research
StraitPhysicalA narrow, natural connection between seas.
StreamPhysicalA river that flows out in the sea.
Subglacial basinPhysicalSubglacial: a term meaning 'beneath the ice'. Basin: a very large depression occupied by sea water, ie. an ocean basin
Submarine lava tubePhysical
Submarine valley(s)PhysicalA sea valley is a linear depression on the seafloor with a broader cross-section and gentler slopes than a submarine canyon. It crosses the continental shelf as an extension of an estuary or as the seaward portion of a drowned valley, and may be kept open by submarine currents or a tidal scour. An elongated depression that generally widens and deepens down-slope. Also called SEA VALLEY.
Sub-ProvinceAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in the Netherlands.
SwalePhysicalDepression between two sandbanks.
SwampPhysicala wetland dominated by tree vegetation
TDWG - level 1Administrative
TDWG - level 2Administrative
TDWG - level 3Administrative
TDWG - level 4Administrative
TerracePhysicalA relatively flat horizontal or gently inclined surface, sometimes long and narrow, which is bounded by a steeper ascending slope on one side and by a steeper descending slope on the opposite side.
Territorial SeaAdministrativeA belt of coastal waters extending at most 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi) from the baseline (usually the mean low-water mark) of a coastal state. The territorial sea is regarded as the sovereign territory of the state, although foreign ships (both military and civilian) are allowed innocent passage through it; this sovereignty also extends to the airspace over and seabed below.
TonguePhysicalA projection of the ice edge up to several km in length caused by wind and current
TownAdministrativeThe lowest administrative unit in Belgium and the Netherlands.
TrenchPhysicalA long narrow, characteristically very deep and asymmetrical depression of the sea floor, with relatively steep sides.
TributaryPhysicalA tributary is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or river. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean.
TroughPhysicalA long depression of the sea floor characteristically flat bottomed and steep sided and normally shallower than a trench.
Undersea archPhysicalA low bulge around the southeastern end of the island of Hawaii
Undersea arrugadoPhysicalAn area of subdued corrugations off Baja California
UNESCO-MAB Biosphere ReserveAdministrative
Union TerritoryAdministrative
Unitary AuthorityAdministrativeA medium-level administrative unit that is used in a lot of countries.
ValleyPhysicalA relatively shallow, wide depression, the bottom of which usually has a continuous gradient. This term is generally not used for features that have canyon-like characteristics for a significant portion of their extent. Also called SUBMARINE VALLEY or SEA VALLEY.
WardAdministrativeThe lowest administrative unit in the United Kingdom.
Water massPhysicalA large amount of water.
Watsonian vice-countyAdministrativeWatsonian vice-counties are subdivisions of Great Britain and Ireland used largely for the purposes of biological recording and other scientific data-gathering.
WetlandPhysicalMixture of swamps and marshes
Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Convention)Administrative
WorldPhysicalThe world
World Marine Heritage SiteAdministrative