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Gulf of Alaska: Map


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The Gulf of Alaska is an arm of the Pacific Oceanmarker defined by the curve of the southern coast of Alaskamarker, stretching from the Alaska Peninsulamarker and Kodiak Islandmarker in the west to the Alexander Archipelagomarker in the east, where Glacier Baymarker and the Inside Passage are found.

The entire shoreline of the Gulf is a rugged combination of forest, mountain, and a number of tidewater glaciers. Alaska's largest glaciers, the Malaspina Glaciermarker and Bering Glaciermarker spill out onto the coastal plain along the Gulf of Alaska. The coast is also heavily indented, with Cook Inletmarker and Prince William Soundmarker the two largest connected bodies of water, but also including Yakutat Baymarker and Cross Soundmarker. Lituya Baymarker is the site of the largest recorded tsunami in history and is a popular sheltered anchorage for fishing boats.

Meteorologically, the Gulf is a great generator of storms. In addition to dumping vast quantities of snow and ice on southern Alaska, resulting in some of the largest concentrations south of the Arctic Circle, many of the storms move south along the coasts of British Columbiamarker, Washingtonmarker, Oregonmarker, and as far south as Southern California (primarily during El Nino events). Much of the seasonal rainfall in the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern United States comes from the Gulf of Alaska.

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