Great And Little Belt, the name given to two of the three channels which connect the Baltic with the Cattegat, and through it with the North sea. The Great Belt is about 50 m. long, 18 m. in medium width, and from 6 to 26 fathoms deep. It lies between the islands of Seeland and Funen, the shores of which present no striking features, but are lined with safe harbors. Navigation is difficult at all seasons on account of many dangerous shoals and sand banks, and in winter it is still further obstructed by floating ice, though the swiftness of the current prevents the strait from being often frozen over. Lighthouses have been erected on the shores; and on the small island of Sprogo, which lies in the middle of the channel, and which the action of the waves is gradually wearing away, there is, besides a light, a small building for the shelter of crews of such small vessels as may be icebound in the attempt to pass through the strait. - The Little Belt separates Funen from Schleswig and Jutland. It is also about 50 m. long, from 1,000 yards to 12 m. wide, and from 5 to 30 fathoms deep. The shores are low and regular, and the current rapid.
It is frozen over from December to April, and navigation at other seasons is attended with the same dangers as in the Great Belt. Large vessels usually pass through the Sound, which is the only channel except the Belts between the Cattegat and the Baltic.