Continental divide

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A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea.

The endpoints where a continental divide meets the coast are not always definite, because the exact border between adjacent bodies of water is usually not clearly defined. The International Hydrographic Organization's publication Limits of Oceans and Seas defines exact boundaries of oceans, but it is not universally recognized. Where a continental divide meets an endorheic basin, such as the Great Divide Basin of Wyoming, the continental divide splits and encircles the basin.

Examples

Major continental divides, showing drainage into the major oceans and seas of the world. Grey areas are endorheic basins that do not drain to the ocean.

See also

References

  1. ^ Foster, John E.; Eccles, W.J. (1985). "Fur Trade". The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  2. ^ Gonzalez, Mark; Joel Festa (2007). "Continental Divides in North Dakota and North America" (PDF). NDGS Newsletter. North Dakota Geographical Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 

External links

  • nationalatlas.gov
  • "Continental Divides in North Dakota and North America by Mark A. Gonzalez. Excellent article on America's other continental divides." (PDF).  (123 KiB)
  • Map of drainage basins in Canada
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