Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Difference between Bay and Gulf

Bay and Gulf both are water bodies which are connected to the sea and where land meets water. They are formed by the erosion of the coastline. Though they look similar, they are different from each other. Let us see how a bay differs from a gulf!

Bay:

Bay refers to a water body that is partially surrounded by land, generally on three sides. It is a broad inlet of water which can be a part of a lake or the ocean. A bay is generally smaller than a gulf. It is formed when the coastline is eroded by water so that an inward land curve is formed with a small inlet passage for water. The inlet formed in the bay is generally wider as compared to the inlets formed in the gulfs.

The land which surrounds the bay can block waves and reduce the speed of winds so can be used safely for fishing. Some of the popular bays include Bay of Bengal, Chesapeake Bay, Hudson Bay, and San Francisco Bay. The Bay of Bengal is believed to be the largest bay in the world.

Gulf:

Gulf refers to the part of the sea that deeply penetrates the land so that it is surrounded by land and has a narrow opening or looks like a long, narrow deep inlet of the sea. Its shape makes it an excellent harbor or trading center. A gulf is generally larger than a bay and sometimes it is also called a large bay. Some of the popular bays of the world include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of California, Gulf of Aden etc. The Gulf of Mexico with a total surface area of around 1,554,000 km2 is believed to be the largest gulf in the world. The gulfs are generally formed due to the movement of the Earth's crust which causes earth?s tectonic plates split or break apart to form a gulf.

Some of the key differences between a bay and a gulf are as follows:

Bay Gulf
It is a water body that is partially surrounded by the land. It is a water body that penetrates the land and largely surrounded by the land.
It has a broader mouth or inlet. It has a narrow mouth or inlet.
It is generally smaller than a gulf. It is generally larger than a bay.
It is formed due to continental drift or due to the erosion of rivers or oceans. It is generally formed due to continental drift or movement of earth's crust.
It can be connected to an ocean, lake or a river. It is generally connected to the ocean.
It is less enclosed by land mass. It is more enclosed by land mass.
It has an inward land curve that makes it circular or semicircular in shape. Water erodes very deeply into the adjoining land that makes it long and narrow in shape.
Common examples: Bay of Bengal, Chesapeake Bay, Hudson Bay, and San Francisco Bay. Common examples: the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of California, Gulf of Aden.
The Bay of Bengal is considered to be the largest bay in the world. The Gulf of Mexico is considered to the largest gulf in the world.
Next TopicDifference between




Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter google plus pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Preparation


Trending Technologies


B.Tech / MCA