1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bengal, Bay of

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17557681911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 3 — Bengal, Bay of

BENGAL, BAY OF, a portion of the Indian Ocean, resembling a triangle in shape, lying between India and Burma. A zone 50 m. wide extending from the island of Ceylon and the Coromandel coast to the head of the bay, and thence southwards through a strip embracing the Andaman and Nicobar islands, is bounded by the 100 fathom line of sea bottom; some 50 m. beyond this lies the 500-fathom limit. Opposite the mouth of the Ganges, however, the intervals between these depths are very much extended by deltaic influence. The bay receives many large rivers, of which the most important are the Ganges and Brahmaputra on the north, the Irrawaddy on the east, and the Mahanadi, Godavari, Kistna and Cauvery on the west. On the west coast it has no harbours, Madras having a mere open roadstead, but on the east there are many good ports, such as Akyab, Moulmein, Rangoon and Tavoy river. The islands in the bay are very numerous, including the Andaman, Nicobar and Mergui groups. The group of islands, Cheduba and others, in the north-east, off the Burmese coast, are remarkable for a chain of mud volcanoes, which are occasionally active. Thus in December 1906 a new island of mud was thrown up, and measured 307 by 217 yds.