What are Isthmus and Strait?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Strait and Isthmus: An Isthmus is a narrow strip of land that connects two larger areas of land, whereas a Strait is a navigable waterway that connects two large bodies of water. Isthmuses have long served as important strategic landmarks. They are ideal locations for ports and canals that connect land-based and maritime trade routes. Surface water typically travels through the strait in either direction at the same elevation on both sides.

Difference Between Strait and Isthmus

Examples of geographic landforms that describe the shape and orientation of isolated islands, straits, and isthmuses in relation to one another. Since neither size nor width has a predetermined definition, their existence is somewhat arbitrary. Let us know in detail about the features of an Isthmus and Strait.

What is Isthmus?

Isthmus has been a strategic location for many years. They are natural locations for harbours and canals connecting land and water trade routes.

  • Isthmus are a key site for communication and cultural exchange and military bases.
  • For instance – The Isthmus of Panama connects the continents of South and North America in Panama and separates the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

What is Strait?

A Strait can be formed by a break in an isthmus, a narrow body of land that connects two water bodies. Tectonic shifts lead to such straits. The Strait of Gibraltar was formed by tectonic activity, the connection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

  • If fractures in the neck occur during the activity of humans, the straits are known as canals. For instance, the Suez Canal.
  • A Strait can be formed by a water body overflowing land which has subsided or eroded.
  • This way, the Bosphorus was created, connecting the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.


What are Isthmus and Strait?

A Strait is a relatively small body of water that separates two larger ones. It might be caused by a break in an isthmus, a slender land bridge connecting two bodies of water. Such straits may result from tectonic shifts.

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