Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia


See lagoon (disambiguation) for other possible meanings.

A lagoon is a body of comparatively shallow salt water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank), coral reef, or similar feature. Thus, the enclosed body of water behind a barrier reef or enclosed by an atoll reef is called a lagoon. This application of lagoon in English dates from 1769. It adapted and extended the sense of the Venetian laguna (cf Latin lacuna, 'empty space'), which specifically referred to Venice's shallow, island-studded stretch of salt water, protected from the Adriatic by the barrier beaches of the Lido (the Venetian Lagoon).

On the Mid-Atlantic Coast of the United States, such lagoons enclosed by barrier islands retain the more traditional designation sounds. Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound might more accurately be termed "lagoons". Though Long Island Sound is a true sound, Great South Bay, between Long Island and the barrier beaches of Fire Island, is actually a lagoon.

On the Pacific side of the North American continent, particularly in northern California, there occur scattered, protected and picturesque lagoons.

The term "lagoon" is also given to an artificial pond used for treatment of effluent (usually to oxygenate or settle particulates) or to accommodate an overspill from surface drains during heavy rainfall.

Geographical lagoons

Last updated: 02-07-2005 08:36:56
Last updated: 02-26-2005 04:50:46