A fjord ( Old Norse fjǫrðr, norwegian fjord ) is a far -reaching into the mainland, incurred by a seaward migrating valley glaciers estuary. Of the same etymological origin the German word Fjord and the English Firth. While there, however, actually are real fjords in the Scottish Firth, the fjords emerged on the Baltic coast by landward migrating tongues of a glacial ice cap, which they are not covered by the geological definition of a fjord.


Fjords caused by valley glaciers that flow down from their area of ​​origin, the Kar, through existing river valleys. The original valley shape is thereby overprinted by glaciers, by the ice rock entrains ( Detraktion ) and this further erodes the bedrock. The original V-shaped valley, for example, is it wider and deeper and gets its typical form as U- Valley, also known as U-shaped valley, with very steep slopes. The reason of a fjord may be up to 1000 m below sea level. Often found at the mouth of the fjord a shoal, which is related to the uplift of the glacier tongue. With the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age, the sea could flow into the deep valleys. Most of mountain lakes have the same glacial history as fjords. The lakebeds of five lakes of the Alps southern margin are even partially below sea level (Lake Garda: -281 m slm, Lake Como: -228 m slm, Lago Maggiore: 180 meters below sea level, Lake Iseo: -66 m slm, Lake Lugano: -17 m slm ). Fjord coasts are raising coasts. Relieved by melting of the glacial ice sheet, the land raises. Fjords so there is anywhere where mountains were once thick ice near the coast or still are. A fjord in a low mountain relief is called in geomorphology Fjärde.



  • In the strong links between land and sea, which characterizes the west coast of Norway, the mountain ridge between two fjords can (which would represent at lower sea level peaks ) continue as an island chain. Thus, besides "traditional" fjords, surrounded on three sides by land, even those that are limited in part or in whole of island chains. This part is just very narrow sounds the islands from each other and from the mainland. In this form, it also is true geological fjords, although the mountain ranges are not consistently visible.
  • The fjords of Schleswig-Holstein and similar estuaries of Eastern Jutland have been contrary to the fjords of landward glaciers of the Ice Age covering the Baltic Sea ice sheet uphill milled and flooded by raising the sea level. In Denmark, they are called Fjord, since no distinction is made in the Danish language between the two terms. Examples are Mariagerfjord, Limfjord and others. Such coastal waters, however, are to be classified as a fjord, lagoon or lagoon.
  • As Ria are denoted by rising sea flooded river valleys that have arisen without glacial action.

Ria and inlets are therefore to be regarded as a reduction coasts.

Under international law,

International law of the sea tight bulges are called regardless of the geological formation as Fjord or Fjord. Therefore, not all geomorphological fjords in international law such, conversely many legal so far designated geomorphological origin.


In particular, Norway is known for its fjord coast in the west of the country, but also Scotland, where they are called frequently Firth. Also, Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand, Tierra del Fuego, the Kerguelen Islands, Svalbard, Alaska, British Columbia, Labrador, Newfoundland and Baffin Iceland are rich in fjords.

On the west coast of Newfoundland, there are a number of former fjords, whose direct connection has been lost to the sea in the past. Examples are Bakers Brook Pond, Ten Mile Pond, Trout River Pond and Western Brook Pond - all located in Gros Morne National Park.