The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the coasts of Norway and Denmark in the east, the coast of the British Isles in the west, and the German, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts in the south. A bay of the North Sea is Skagerrak, between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which connects to the Baltic Sea through Kattegat, Öresund, the Great Belt and the Small Belt. In the south, the North Sea connects with the rest of the Atlantic through the English Channel and in the north through the Norwegian Sea.
Major rivers that drain into the North Sea include the Elbe (at Cuxhaven), the Weser (at Bremerhaven), the Ems at Emden, the Rhine and Meuse (at Rotterdam), the Scheldt (at Flushing), the Thames, and the Humber (at Hull). Kiel Canal, one of the world's busiest artificial waterways, connects the North Sea with the Baltic.
There is a substantial amount of oil and natural gas under the seabed: see North Sea oil.
In classical times this body of water was referred to as the Oceanum- or Mare Germanicum, meaning German Ocean or Sea. This name was commonly used in English and other languages along with the name, the "North Sea", until the early eighteenth century. By the late-nineteenth century, German Sea was a rare, scholarly usage even in Germany. Its modern name is thought to have originated from a Frisian point of view which lies directly to the south of the North Sea (also see Zuiderzee). In Danish the North Sea is also named "Vesterhavet" (besides "Nordsøen"), meaning "Western Ocean" as it is located west of Denmark.
The North Sea Flood of 1953 caused over 2,000 deaths in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.
Overview of geography, hydrography and climate of the North Sea
- Hallo Nordseefreunde, http://www.nordsee.org/
Nordsømuseet i Hirtshals (The North Sea Museum in Hirtshals, Denmark), http://www.nordsoemuseet.dk/
- Etymology and History of names, http://www.eastsea.org/article3/report3.htm