Tangier Island, Virginia, is a tiny community in the Chesapeake Bay between Virginia and Maryland. The community's isolation led to its residents speaking in a dialect of 17th-century England, although modern communication has reduced the appearance of this dialect in common speech.

Map by Iskandar Baday

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    1. Tangier Island is a small landmass in Chesapeake Bay, a large estuary on the East Coast of the United States. What state is Tangier Island a part of?

      Tangier Island is part of Virginia, abbreviated VA on the map.

    2. More than ten rivers empty into Chesapeake Bay. Which three are represented on the inset map?

      The inset map identifies the Potomac, Rappahannock, and James Rivers.

    3. Tangier Island is almost entirely surrounded by tidal flats, muddy areas that are covered by water during high tides. Where does the tidal flow that creates these "mudflats" originate?

      The strong tides of the Atlantic Ocean create the tidal flats of Tangier Island.

    4. Tangier Island is actually three tiny islands connected by tidal flats. Where is the largest expanse of tidal flats? What is the approximate distance of the longest stretch of this flat?

      The tidal flat connecting Tangier's eastern island with the main southern island is the area's largest. From the southern island's southern bay (where the New Testament Church, actually much farther inland, is identified) to the northwestern part of the eastern island is about a mile.

    5. The map's blue numbers are soundings, which record the depth of Chesapeake Bay at different points. Using these soundings, identify the deepest point surrounding Tangier Island.

      The entrance to Cod Harbor is eight feet deep, the deepest point in the bay surrounding Tangier Island.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Chesapeake Bay Noun

    large, shallow estuary of the Susquehanna and other rivers that flow through the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York and the capital of Washington, D.C., before emptying in the Atlantic Ocean.

    East Coast Noun

    Atlantic coast of the United States.

    estuary Noun

    mouth of a river where the river's current meets the sea's tide.

    Encyclopedic Entry: estuary
    high tide Noun

    water level that has risen as a result of the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    landmass Noun

    large area of land.

    map Noun

    symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.

    Encyclopedic Entry: map
    river Noun

    large stream of flowing fresh water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: river
    sounding Noun

    measurement of the depth of a body of water in a specific area.

    state Noun

    political unit in a nation, such as the United States, Mexico, or Australia.

    tidal flat Noun

    coastal wetlands, often found within the intertidal zone, formed when mud is deposited by tides.