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    Indian Ocean Geography 1997

      Location body of water between Africa, Antarctica, Asia, and Australia

      Geographic coordinates 30 00 S, 80 00 E

      Map references World

      total : 73.6 million sq km
      note: includes Arabian Sea, Bass Straight, Bay of Bengal, Great AustralianBight, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Strait of Malacca, and other tributarywater bodies

      Area - comparative slightly less than eight times the size of the US; third-largest ocean(after the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean)

      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 northernIndian Ocean and January/February in the southern Indian Ocean

      Terrain surface dominated by counterclockwise gyre (broad, circular system ofcurrents) in the southern Indian Ocean; unique reversal of surface currents in the northern Indian Ocean; low atmospheric pressure over southwest Asiafrom hot, rising, summer air results in the southwest monsoon and southwest-to-northeastwinds and currents, while high pressure over northern Asia from cold, falling,winter air results in the northeast monsoon and northeast-to-southwest windsand currents; ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge and subdividedby 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, placerdeposits, polymetallic nodules

      Natural hazards ships subject to superstructure icing in extreme south near Antarcticafrom May to October

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

      Environment - international agreements
      party to : none of the selected agreements
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note major chokepoints include Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Strait ofMalacca, southern access to the Suez Canal, and the Lombok Strait

      NOTE: The information regarding Indian Ocean on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Indian Ocean Geography 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Indian Ocean Geography 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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