Indian Ocean

Introduction ::Indian Ocean

Background:

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, but larger than the Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean). Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran-Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia). The decision by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion of the Indian Ocean south of 60 degrees south latitude.

Geography ::Indian Ocean

Location:

body of water between Africa, the Southern Ocean, Asia, and Australia

Geographic coordinates:

20 00 S, 80 00 E

Area:

total: 68.556 million sq km

note: includes Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Flores Sea, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Java Sea, Mozambique Channel, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Savu Sea, Strait of Malacca, Timor Sea, and other tributary water bodies

Area - comparative:

about 5.5 times the size of the US

Coastline:

66,526 km

Climate:

northeast monsoon (December to April), southwest monsoon (June to October); tropical cyclones occur during May/June and October/November in the northern Indian Ocean and January/February in the southern Indian Ocean

Terrain:

surface dominated by counterclockwise gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in the southern Indian Ocean; unique reversal of surface currents in the northern Indian Ocean; low atmospheric pressure over southwest Asia from hot, rising, summer air results in the southwest monsoon and southwest-to-northeast winds and currents, while high pressure over northern Asia from cold, falling, winter air results in the northeast monsoon and northeast-to-southwest winds and currents; ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge and subdivided by the Southeast Indian Ocean Ridge, Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge, and Ninetyeast Ridge

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Java Trench -7,258 m

highest point: sea level 0 m

Natural resources:

oil and gas fields, fish, shrimp, sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules

Natural hazards:

occasional icebergs pose navigational hazard in southern reaches

Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include the dugong, seals, turtles, and whales; oil pollution in the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea

Geography - note:

major chokepoints include Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca, southern access to the Suez Canal, and the Lombok Strait

Economy ::Indian Ocean

Economy - overview:

The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and the Americas. It carries a particularly heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia. Its fish are of great and growing importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. Fishing fleets from Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan also exploit the Indian Ocean, mainly for shrimp and tuna. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore areas of Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, and western Australia. An estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. Beach sands rich in heavy minerals and offshore placer deposits are actively exploited by bordering countries, particularly India, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Transportation ::Indian Ocean

Ports and terminals:

Chennai (Madras, India); Colombo (Sri Lanka); Durban (South Africa); Jakarta (Indonesia); Kolkata (Calcutta, India); Melbourne (Australia); Mumbai (Bombay, India); Richards Bay (South Africa)

Transportation - note:

although the number of reported incidents of piracy have dropped dramatically in 2012, the International Maritime Bureau continues to report the territorial waters of littoral states and offshore waters as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, particularly in the Gulf of Aden, along the east coast of Africa, the Bay of Bengal, and the Strait of Malacca; the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additional anti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use of on-board armed security teams, have reduced incidents of piracy; in response, Somali-based pirates, using hijacked fishing trawlers as ""mother ships"" to extend their range, shifted operations as far south as the Mozambique Channel, eastward to the vicinity of the Maldives, and northeastward to the Strait of Hormuz

Transnational Issues ::Indian Ocean

Disputes - international:

some maritime disputes (see littoral states)"

The World Factbook. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Indian Ocean — выступление в Индийском институте технологии в Канпуре …   Википедия

  • Indian Ocean — Indian O|cean the Indian Ocean the third largest ocean in the world, which lies between Africa and Australia …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Indian Ocean — first attested 1515 in Modern Latin (Oceanus Orientalis Indicus), named for INDIA (Cf. India), which projects into it; earlier it was the Eastern Ocean, as opposed to the Western Ocean (Atlantic) before the Pacific was surmised …   Etymology dictionary

  • Indian Ocean — ocean south of Asia, between Africa & Australia: 28,350,500 sq mi (73,427,511 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Indian Ocean — This article is about the water body. For the Indian fusion music band, see Indian Ocean (band). The Indian Ocean, not including the Antarctic region. Earth s oceans (World Ocean) …   Wikipedia

  • Indian Ocean — an ocean S of Asia, E of Africa, and W of Australia. 28,357,000 sq. mi. (73,444,630 sq. km). * * * Indian Ocean Introduction Indian Ocean Background: The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world s five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean and… …   Universalium

  • Indian Ocean — noun the 3rd largest ocean; bounded by Africa on the west, Asia on the north, Australia on the east and merging with the Antarctic Ocean to the south • Instance Hypernyms: ↑ocean • Part Meronyms: ↑Ceylon, ↑Comoro Islands, ↑Iles Comores,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Indian Ocean — ocean betw. Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • Indian Ocean — ocean located south of India and east of Africa (extending between Asia, Africa, and Australia) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Indian Ocean — geographical name ocean E of Africa, S of Asia, W of Australia & Tasmania, & N of Antarctica area about 28,350,500 square miles (73,427,795 square kilometers) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.