Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Firth is the Lowland Scots word often used to denote a large sea bay in Scotland, which may be part of an estuary, or just an inlet, or even a strait (as in the case of the Pentland Firth). It is cognate to fjord, which has a more narrow sense in English, whereas a firth would most likely be called a fjord if it were situated in Scandinavia.
A firth is generally the result of glaciation and very often associated with a large river, where erosion caused by the tidal effects of incoming sea water passing upriver has widened the riverbed to an estuary, such as may be seen in the Firth of Clyde. However, this cannot be said in every case. The Cromarty Firth on the East coast of Scotland, for example, resembles a large loch with only a relatively small outlet to the sea and the Solway Firth and the Moray Firth are more like extremely large bays.
See Pentland Firth.
The Firths on the West Coast of Scotland from North to South
- Firth of Lorne (northernmost, connects with the Moray Firth via the
- Firth of Clyde (estuary of the River Clyde)
- Solway Firth (inlet with the rivers Eden, Esk and Nith ).
The Firths on the East coast of Scotland from North to South (these are connected to, or form part of, the North Sea)
- Dornoch Firth (northernmost of the Eastern firths)
- Cromarty Firth (loch type firth with relatively narrow opening to the sea). The Firth runs out into the Moray Firth.
- Moray Firth and Beauly Firth (two loch-type firths connected with each other with Firth of Inverness between the two). The Firth of Inverness is rarely identified on modern maps, but it is this firth which forms a connection via the River Ness, Loch Ness and the other lochs of the Great Glen and stretches of the Caledonian Canal with the Firth of Lorn on the West coast of Scotland.
- Firth of Tay (estuary of the River Tay).
- Firth of Forth (estuary of the River Forth)
- Places: Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Falkirk, Stirling, Grangemouth, Rosyth, North Queensferry, South Queensferry, Musselburgh, Crail, Cellardyke , Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans , Elie, Earlsferry. It is spanned by the magnificent Firth of Forth Road Bridge, 1,006m (3,300ft) long, and the Forth Bridge, 2.498m (8,196ft) long.
- Rivers: Forth, Water of Leith, River Almond , River Esk
- Islands: Bass Rock, Inchcolm, Inchkeith , Inchmickery , Isle of May
Firths outside Scottish waters
See also: List of waterways
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