White Sea

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The White Sea (Russian: Бе́лое мо́ре) is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of the internal waters of Russia.[3]

The major port of Arkhangelsk is located on the White Sea. For much of Russia's history this was Russia's main centre of international maritime trade, conducted by the so-called Pomors ("seaside settlers") from Kholmogory. In the modern era it became an important Soviet naval and submarine base. The White Sea-Baltic Canal connects the White Sea with the Baltic Sea.

The White Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea, the Red Sea and the Yellow Sea.




The International Hydrographic Organization defines the northern limit of the White Sea as "A line joining Svyatoi Nos (Murmansk Coast, 39°47'E) and Cape Kanin".[4]


There are four main bays or gulfs on the White Sea. These bays connect with the funnel-shaped opening to the Barents Sea via a narrow strait called "gorlo" (Russian: Горло, meaning "throat"). Kandalaksha Gulf lies in the western part of the White Sea; it is the deepest part of the sea, reaching 340 meters (1,115 feet). On the south, Onega Bay receives the Onega River. To the southeast, the Dvina Bay receives the Northern Dvina River at the major port of Arkhangelsk. On the east side of the 'gorlo', opposite the Kola peninsula, is Mezen Bay. It receives the Mezen River. Other major rivers flowing into the sea are the Vyg, Niva, Umba, Varzuga and Ponoy.[1][2]

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