Last year we visited some friends at their summer home in Lamoine, Maine, in Northeast United States. They took us to a place called Somes Sound, on Mount Desert Island. It's either in or near Acadia National Park, I can't remember which. In the ocean running under a bridge at the base of some large rocks, we saw a powerful and fascinating swirl of water which we were told was the only true fjord on the East Coast.
My friends have recently returned for this summer, and I just received an email saying that, although it looks the same to them, the fjord had been "downgraded" to a fjard.
What's the difference between the two, and why would the fjard be considered a "downgrade" in status?
Edit: We just returned from another visit to the area in October of 2016. We learned that
Somes Sound is a large and deep body of water located in the lower mid-section of Mount Desert Island, Maine, whose cavity was formed from past glacier activity.
According to the same site,
Somes Sound was described as a “fjord” and the only one of its kind on the East Coast. In recent years, this description has been somewhat downgraded to the “fjard” because it lacks the extreme vertical topography and the oxygen deprived sediments as the Norwegian fjords.
The tide was out so the pictures we took weren't as dramatic as what we actually saw last year. Hopefully they're good enough to give you an idea. (Click on them for larger view.)