digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The four kinds of navigable water in the Gulf of Mexico.

Maritime geography is often discussed in terms of three loosely defined regions: brown water, green water, and blue water.


The elements of maritime geography are loosely defined and their meanings have changed throughout history. The USA's 2010 Naval Operations Concept defines blue water as "the open ocean", green water as "coastal waters, ports and harbors", and brown water as "navigable rivers and their estuaries".[1] Robert Rubel of the US Naval War College includes bays in his definition of brown water,[2] and in the past US military commentators have extended brown water out to 100 nautical miles (190 km) from shore.[3]

During the Cold War, green water denoted those areas of ocean in which naval forces might encounter land-based aircraft and brown water, land-based artillery.[2] The development of long-range bombers with antiship missiles turned most of the oceans to "green" and the term all but disappeared.[2] After the Cold War, US amphibious taskforces were sometimes referred to as the green-water navy, in contrast to the blue-water carrier battlegroups.[4] This distinction disappeared as increasing threats in coastal waters forced the amphibious ships further offshore, delivering assaults by helicopter and tiltrotor from over the horizon. This prompted the development of ships designed to operate in such waters - the Zumwalt class destroyer and the littoral combat ships. Rubel has proposed redefining green water as those areas of ocean which are too dangerous for high-value units, requiring offensive power to be dispersed into smaller vessels such as submarines that can use stealth and other characteristics to survive.[2] Under his scheme brown water would be zones in which ocean-going units could not operate at all, including rivers, minefields, straits and other choke points.[2]


Brown water[edit]

The brown water environment starts from the shoreline through to the end of the continental shelf.

A "brown-water navy" focuses on coastal operations and primarily takes a defensive role.

Green water[edit]

The green water environment extends from the outer edge of the brown-water layer past any continental shelves, archipelagos and islands; perhaps a few hundred miles from shore. It is the most important maritime arena, including most coastal traffic and territorial waters, in which are found the great majority of a nation’s maritime police, customs, environmental, and economic concerns.

A "green-water navy" is capable of defense of its nation in depth and is a significant offensive force within its territory.

Blue water[edit]

The blue water environment extends from the outer edge of the green-water zone through to the deep ocean of the world.

A "blue-water navy" can project its nation's power throughout the world. The blue water policy was a long-standing political philosophy in Britain in the eighteenth century, which sought to advance British power through use of the Royal Navy, although the term "blue water" did not appear until 1834.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Naval Operations Concept 2010 - Implementing the Maritime Strategy" (PDF). US Naval Service. p. 16. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Rubel, Robert C. (Autumn 2010), "Talking About Sea Control" (PDF), Naval War College Review 63 (4): 44–46 
  3. ^ Burkitt, Laurie; Scobell, Andrew; Wortzel, Larry M. (July 2003). "The Lessons of History : The Chinese People's Liberation Army at 75" (PDF). Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. p. 185. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Gillespie, T.C.; Lesher, S.M.; Miner, P.D.; Cyr, B.P. (23 March 1992), Composite Warfare and The Amphibians (PDF), Marine Corps University, pp. 9–24, retrieved 7 May 2012 
  5. ^ Shorter OED

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_geography — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
15764 videos foundNext > 


The Waves of Containerization: Shifts in Global Maritime Transportation

Jean-Paul Rodrigue received a Ph.D. in Transport Geography from the Université de Montréal (1994) and has been a professor at Hofstra University since 1999. Dr. Rodrigue's research interests...

Pacific Maritime Ecozone Advertisement Geography Project

Geography Eco zone project about Pacific Maritime in Canada.

Maritime man promoting the reeducation of geography education

Sat, Jan 4: Is the long time subject of geography becoming an afterthought, because of the internet? A Maritime man is sinking money into a foundation promoting geography. Ross Lord reports....

Subcommittee Hearing: China's Maritime and other Geographic Threats

Subcommittee Hearing: China's Maritime and other Geographic Threats Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats | 2255 House Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Oct 30 ...

Keynote Speaker: Jean-Paul Rodrigue • Presented by SpeakInc • Global Maritime Transportation Shift

Jean-Paul Rodrigue received a Ph.D. in Transport Geography from the Université de Montréal (1994) and has been at the Department of Economics & Geography at Hofstra University since 1999....

National Geographic Sightings of Sea Monsters Documentary

http://goo.gl/8YAbks Beach creatures are sea-dwelling mythical as well as renowned creatures, usually thought to be of astounding dimensions. Maritime creatures may take quite a few kinds,...

Pacific Maritime Ecozone

Geography assignment on the Pacific Maritime Ecozone. Rate, Comment, Subscribe.

Geography Lesson Idea - Mapping the Sea

For more films like this visit http://www.twig-world.com Charting the waters around the Scottish island of Orkney was a pivotal moment in maritime mapping. But a reliance on outdated maps places...

Daniel Dundee- Atlantic Maritime

Daniel Stern as Daniel Dundee in this hilarious geography project presentation of the Atlantic Maritime ecozone. filmed by Zach Engel (zachtheman87) Special thanks to zach!

15764 videos foundNext > 

37 news items

the Diplomat
Mon, 02 Sep 2013 03:46:53 -0700

James Holmes. Maritime Geography: The Foundation of American Power. Image Credit: Wikicommons. Maritime Geography: The Foundation of American Power. “That oceangoing behemoths can reach inland metropolises is a reminder of how geography ...
Big News Network.com
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 01:03:45 -0700

The three island-nation trip that took Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in mid-March may well mark the beginning of India's long-overdue maritime awakening. For a nation so richly endowed with a distinctive maritime geography ...
Lawfare (blog)
Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:05:38 -0800

The premise of this project will be familiar to many of you: maritime competition in Asia has been steadily increasing in recent years, and doing so in an environment of informational opacity. Maritime geography makes it difficult to monitor events at ...


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:30:00 -0700

Located west of Istanbul, on the European side of the country, the Thrace region benefits from its proximity to Istanbul's population as well as its pivotal maritime geography: the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Aegean Sea all border and ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Sat, 29 Nov 2014 18:37:30 -0800

Given the maritime geography of SE Asia and the South Pacific, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) can't afford to ignore those lessons. A mixed fleet of 100 A and B F-35 variants, with F-35Bs able to operate from both land and sea, would give the ADF a ...

The Diplomat

The Diplomat
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 22:37:30 -0700

As a natural consequence of the maritime geography and complex array of security challenges within, naval modernization programs in Southeast Asia have always been characterized by the quest for a balanced set of capabilities. They not only reflect ...
The Diplomat
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:11:15 -0800

Last week geopolitics Zen master Robert Kaplan put forth a “realist creed” for analysts and practitioners of American foreign policy. Kaplan observes that we all fancy ourselves realists. Few admit to being otherworldly thinkers, detached from the ...

Daily Beast

Daily Beast
Sat, 08 Nov 2014 03:47:35 -0800

“The other is the maritime geography of Russia, if you're going to maintain your nuclear deterrent then ultimately the bases around Murmansk make a lot more sense for the submarine-based deterrent.” And Murmansk is within the Arctic Circle. But beyond ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight