Ocean Gaps Geographic Location in The Ocean | World Anvil
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Ocean Gaps

Any stretch of water separating two islands is called a gap. Minor gaps within the Cluster Islands are identified by the names of the islands on either side. The Great Gaps are wider stretches of ocean, beyond which no other land was thought to exist at one time, although islands have since been discovered within most of them. They are named according to their cardinal directions: The Northern Gap, between Eihlari and Ralcondray; the Western Gap, between Scaetra and the vastland; the Vast Eastern Gap, beyond Gieljed; and the Southern Gap, between Galtern and the Great Southern Island.  The Southern Gap is sometimes subdivided into the Southwest Gap and the Southeast Gap, which touches Kot Petaszi.


Usage of the term "gap" has changed significantly over the course of human history. Early in the Oceanic Era, a gap was only a break in a coral atoll that permitted boats to enter and exit the lagoon. For the first few hundred years, ocean travel was dependent upon tide readers, who guided boats by sensing the changing depth of the water between atolls that stretched in a scattered line mostly west to east. Past the end of the line the seafloor sloped out of the range of human sense, and the wide stretch of ocean beyond became known as the "Great Gap".
The Great Gap remained unexplored even when stellar navigation allowed boats to find islands accurately across great depths of water. Not until 6000 Oce did exploration fleets begin venturing into that great unknown, discovering several more mountainous islands. By 9500 Oce it was clear that many of the atolls were on the brink of eroding, and it became imperative to evacuate the residents. Several fleets probed the Great Gap, and in 9650 the first humans landed on the Cluster Islands.
These islands were much younger, actively volcanic, and lacked the coral reefs and protected lagoons of the atolls. Still, they enclosed the Inside Sea enough to make it distinct from the ocean surrounding the cluster, and the passages between the Inside Sea and the outer ocean were analogously called "gaps". By that time it was believed this referred to the distance between the flanking points of land, rather than the depth of the opening, and the term began to be applied to the water between any two neighboring islands, no matter how distant.

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