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How deep is the Strait of Hormuz?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The other day I was reading a news article about Oman’s plan to build a railroad to bypass the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is likely the world’s most important maritime chokepoint – some 17 million barrels per day (about 20 percent of the world’s traded oil) flows through the gap between Oman and Iran. And that gap is really tight, in a marime sense. As the Energy Information Administration puts it, “at its narrowest point, the Strait is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. The Strait is deep and wide enough to handle the world’s largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons.”

But how deep? I’ve found a handy depth chart for the Strait of Hormuz. So if you love maps like I do, go ahead and lose yourself in this for awhile.

Click through for a larger version from Wikipedia (I know, I try to avoid Wikipedia but this is a pretty sweet map!)

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? david.m.wogan@gmail.com Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. jtdwyer 2:57 pm 02/13/2014

    “I try to avoid Wikipedia but this is a pretty sweet map!”
    Yeah, Wikipedia has its limitations, but it is a convenient first stop and a source for (selected) references. Personally, I try to stay away from most blogs (especially those related energy policies), which are most often highly opinionated!
    Yours is not bad, though. <%)

    Link to this
  2. 2. jgrosay 8:07 pm 02/13/2014

    The Hormuz strait is not only deep, it’s deepening and widening, and thus a possible place for earthquakes.

    Regarding the project discussed elsewhere of sending water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, after changing it into fresh water, to avoid the constant reduction in the Dead Sea level, ‘the Salty Sea’ for the Bible, sending fresh water to compensate for the evaporation, as a huge level difference exists between the Sea Level in Eilath and in the Dead Sea, this difference, once the initial barrier jumped over, may help generating electricity for the whole system, by using for this the energy in the water coming down from the higher Red Sea; as the amount of salty water produced in the process of making the Red Sea water a drinkable fresh water would be of much lesser amount than the fresh water produced, a shorter tube may send this hyper-salty water to the Mediterranean coast in the Gaza strip or any other place in this coast, and this way get totally rid of the hyper concentrated salty water in a place where little or no harm would result.

    Link to this

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