Zuider Zee (zĪˈdər zē, zā, Du. zoiˈdər zā) [key], former shallow inlet of the North Sea, c.80 mi (130 km) long, indenting NE Netherlands. In ancient times Lake Flevo, it was joined to the North Sea by a great flood in the 13th cent. A vast drainage project, begun in 1920, split the old Zuider Zee into the IJsselmeer, S of the IJsselmeer dam, and the Waddenzee, between the dam and the West Frisian Islands. Much of the IJsselmeer has since been reclaimed for farm lands and urban expansion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Zuider Zee from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French and Benelux Physical Geography