Coral Sea

Coral Sea
Coral Sea map.png
Coordinates18°S 158°E / 18°S 158°E / -18; 158
TypeSea
Basin countriesAustralia, New Caledonia (France), Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Surface area4,791,000 km2 (1,850,000 sq mi)
Average depth2,394 m (7,854 ft)
Max. depth9,140 m (29,990 ft)
Water volume11,470,000 km3 (9.30×1012 acre⋅ft)
References[1][2]

The Coral Sea is a marginal sea of the South Pacific off the northeast coast of Australia, and classified as an interim Australian bioregion. The Coral Sea extends 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) down the Australian northeast coast.

It is bounded in the west by the east coast of Queensland, thereby including the Great Barrier Reef, in the east by Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides) and by New Caledonia, and in the northeast approximately by the southern extremity of the Solomon Islands. In the northwest, it reaches to the south coast of eastern New Guinea, thereby including the Gulf of Papua. It merges with the Tasman Sea in the south, with the Solomon Sea in the north and with the Pacific Ocean in the east. On the west, it is bounded by the mainland coast of Queensland, and in the northwest, it connects with the Arafura Sea through the Torres Strait.[2]

The sea is characterised by its warm and stable climate[citation needed], with frequent rains and tropical cyclones. It contains numerous islands and reefs, as well as the world's largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. All previous oil exploration projects were terminated at the GBR in 1975, and fishing is restricted in many areas. The reefs and islands of the Coral Sea are particularly rich in birds and aquatic life and are a popular tourist destination, both nationally and internationally.

Extent

A map of the Coral Sea Islands

While the Great Barrier Reef with its islands and cays belong to Queensland, most reefs and islets east of it are part of the Coral Sea Islands Territory. In addition, some islands west of and belonging to New Caledonia are also part of the Coral Sea Islands in a geographical sense, such as the Chesterfield Islands and Bellona Reefs.

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Coral Sea as follows:[3]

On the North. The South coast of New Guinea from the entrance to the Bensbach River (141°01'E) to Gadogadoa Island near its Southeastern extreme (10°38′S 150°34′E / 10.633°S 150.567°E / -10.633; 150.567), down this meridian to the 100 fathom line and thence along the Southern edges of Uluma Reef and those extending to the Eastward as far as the Southeast point of Lawik Reef (11°43.5′S 153°56.5′E / 11°43.5′S 153°56.5′E / -11.7250; 153.9417) off Tagula Island, thence a line to the Southern extreme of Rennell Island (Solomon Islands) and from its Eastern point to Cape Surville, the Eastern extreme of San Cristobal Island [Makira], Solomons; thence through Nupani Island, the Northwestern of the Santa Cruz Islands (10°04.5′S 165°40.5′E / 10°04.5′S 165°40.5′E / -10.0750; 165.6750) to the Northernmost Island of the Duff Islands (9°48.5′S 167°06′E / 9°48.5′S 167°06′E / -9.8083; 167.100).

On the Northeast. From the Northernmost island of the Duff Islands, through these islands to their Southeastern extreme, thence a line to Méré Lava, Vanuatu Islands(14°25′S 163°03′E / 14°25′S 163°03′E / -14.417; 163.050) and down the Eastern coasts of the islands of this Group to Anatom Island (20°11′S 169°51′E / 20°11′S 169°51′E / -20.183; 169.850) in such a way that all the islands of these Groups, and the straits separating them, are included in the Coral Sea.

On the Southeast. A line from the Southeastern extreme of Anatom Island to Nokanhoui (reefs) (22°46′S 167°34′E / 22°46′S 167°34′E / -22.767; 167.567) off the Southeast extreme of New Caledonia, thence through the East point of Middleton Reef to the Eastern extreme of Elizabeth Reef (29°55′S 159°02′E / 29°55′S 159°02′E / -29.917; 159.033) and down this meridian to Latitude 30° South.

On the South. The parallel of 30° South to the Australian coast.

On the West. The Eastern limit of the Arafura Sea [The entrance to the Bensbak River (141°01'E), and thence a line to the Northwest extreme of York Peninsula, Australia (11°05′S 142°03′E / 11°05′S 142°03′E / -11.083; 142.050)] and the East Coast of Australia as far south as Latitude 30° South.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Koraalsee
Alemannisch: Korallenmeer
العربية: بحر المرجان
asturianu: Mar del Coral
azərbaycanca: Mərcan dənizi
تۆرکجه: مرجان دنیزی
Bân-lâm-gú: San-ô͘ Hái
башҡортса: Мәрйен диңгеҙе
беларуская: Каралавае мора
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Каралавае мора
български: Коралово море
bosanski: Koralno more
brezhoneg: Mor Kouralek
čeština: Korálové moře
Cymraeg: Môr Cwrel
dansk: Koralhavet
Deutsch: Korallenmeer
español: Mar del Coral
Esperanto: Korala Maro
euskara: Koral itsasoa
français: Mer de Corail
Frysk: Koraalsee
galego: Mar do Coral
한국어: 산호해
Հայերեն: Կորալյան ծով
हिन्दी: कोरल सागर
hrvatski: Koraljno more
Ilokano: Baybay Coral
Bahasa Indonesia: Laut Karang
íslenska: Kóralhaf
italiano: Mar dei Coralli
ქართული: მარჯნის ზღვა
Кыргызча: Коралл деңизи
latviešu: Koraļļu jūra
lietuvių: Koralų jūra
македонски: Корално Море
მარგალური: მარჯანიშ ზუღა
မြန်မာဘာသာ: သန္တာပင်လယ်
Nederlands: Koraalzee
日本語: 珊瑚海
norsk nynorsk: Korallhavet
олык марий: Коралл теҥыз
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Marjon dengizi
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੋਰਲ ਸਾਗਰ
پنجابی: کورال سمندر
português: Mar de Coral
română: Marea Coralilor
саха тыла: Коралл байҕала
Scots: Coral Sea
Simple English: Coral Sea
slovenčina: Koralové more
српски / srpski: Корално море
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Koraljno more
svenska: Korallhavet
Türkçe: Mercan Denizi
Türkmençe: Merjen deňzi
українська: Коралове море
Tiếng Việt: Biển San Hô
Winaray: Dagat Coral
ייִדיש: קאראל-ים
粵語: 珊瑚海
中文: 珊瑚海