120th meridian west

The meridian 120° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.

120th meridian west
The 120th meridian defines part of the border between British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and defines part of the border between California and Nevada in the United States.

The 120th meridian west forms a great circle with the 60th meridian east.

In Canada the border between British Columbia and Alberta is defined by the meridian north of where it intersects the Continental Divide of the Americas, and in the United States part of the border between California and Nevada follows it.

The mean solar time at this meridian determines the time for the Pacific Time Zone (UTC−08:00) during standard time. Most of the year however, it is the meridian for Alaska Daylight Time, as daylight saving time is observed for ⅔ of the year.

From Pole to Pole

Starting at the North Pole and heading south to the South Pole, the 120th meridian west passes through:

Co-ordinates Country, territory or sea Notes
90°0′N 120°0′W Arctic Ocean
77°1′N 120°0′W  Canada Northwest TerritoriesPrince Patrick Island
75°50′N 120°0′W M'Clure Strait
74°17′N 120°0′W  Canada Northwest TerritoriesBanks Island
72°14′N 120°0′W Prince of Wales Strait
71°32′N 120°0′W Amundsen Gulf
69°21′N 120°0′W  Canada Nunavut
Northwest Territories — passing through Great Bear Lake
British Columbia / Alberta border — from 60°0′N 120°0′W
British Columbia — from Intersection Mountain at 53°48′N 120°0′W; at this point the meridian meets the Continental Divide, and the boundary with Alberta diverts southeast
49°0′N 120°0′W  United States Washington
Oregon — from 45°49′N 120°0′W
California / Nevada border — from 42°0′N 120°0′W
California — from 39°0′N 120°0′W, through South Lake Tahoe and just east of Madera
34°27′N 120°0′W Pacific Ocean Santa Barbara Channel
33°59′N 120°0′W  United States CaliforniaSanta Rosa Island
33°57′N 120°0′W Pacific Ocean
60°0′S 120°0′W Southern Ocean
73°44′S 120°0′W Antarctica Unclaimed territory

See also

  • 119th meridian west
  • 121st meridian west
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