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LAGOON (Fr. lagune, Lat. lacuna, a pool), a term applied to (i) a sheet of salt or brackish water near the sea, (2) a sheet of fresh water of no great depth or extent, (3) the expanse of smooth water enclosed by an atoll. Sea lagoons are formed only where the shores are low and protected from wave action. Under these conditions a bar may be raised above sea-level or a spit may grow until its end touches the land. The enclosed shallow water is then isolated in a wide stretch, the seaward banks broaden, and the lagoon becomes a permanent area of still shallow water with peculiar faunal features. In the old lake plains of Australia there are occasional wide and shallow depressions where water collects permanently. Large numbers of aquatic birds, black swans, wild duck, teal, migrant spoon-bills or pelicans, resort to these fresh-water lagoons.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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