Indian Ocean

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Indian Ocean
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{{For|the rock band|Indian Ocean (band)}}{{pp-vandalism|small=yes}}{{pp-pc1|expiry=6 December 2020}}{{short description|The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2019}}

| type = Ocean7600abbr=on}} (Africa to Australia){{HarvnbSmith2003|loc=Introduction, p. 219}}9600abbr=on}} (Antarctica to Bay of Bengal)68,556,000abbr=on}}3741abbr=on}}7258abbr=on}}CIA World Fact Book 2018}}| cities = Durban, Mumbai, Perth, Colombo, Padang, Maputo66526abbr=on}}{{HarvnbIrvineloc=Introduction, p. 11–12; Table 1, p.12}}}}The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering {{Convert|70,560,000|km2|abbr=on}} (19.8% of the water on the Earth's surface).{{Harvnb|Eakins|Sharman|2010}} It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.WEB,weblink 'Indian Ocean' — Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, 7 July 2012, ocean E of Africa, S of Asia, W of Australia, & N of Antarctica area ab {{convert, 73427795, km2, }}Scientifically, the Indian Ocean remained poorly explored before the International Indian Ocean Expedition in the early 1960s. The Challenger expedition 1872–1876 only reported from south of the polar front. The Valdivia expedition 1898–1899 made deep samples in the Indian Ocean. In the 1930s, the John Murray Expedition mainly studied shallow-water habitats. The Swedish Deep Sea Expedition 1947–1948 also sampled the Indian Ocean on its global tour and the Danish Galathea sampled deep-water fauna from Sri Lanka to South Africa on its second expedition 1950–1952. The Soviet research vessel Vityaz also did research in the Indian Ocean.


{{Multiple image | align = left | width = 180
| image1 = Resized-inu-afrmap-4004357-recto-master.png
| caption1 = A 1747 map of Africa with the Indian Ocean referred to as the Eastern Ocean
| image2 = 1658 Jansson Map of the Indian Ocean (Erythrean Sea) in Antiquity - Geographicus - ErythraeanSea-jansson-1658.jpg
| caption2 = A 1658 naval map by Janssonius depicting the Indian Ocean, India and Arabia.
}}The Indian Ocean is named after India (Oceanus Orientalis Indicus) since at least 1515. India, then, is the Greek/Roman name for the "region of the Indus River".WEB,weblink Indian Ocean, Harper, Douglas, Online Etymology Dictionary, 18 January 2011, ; WEB,weblink India, Harper, Douglas, Online Etymology Dictionary, 8 July 2018, Called the Sindhu Mahasagara or the great sea of the Sindhu by the Ancient Indians, this ocean has been variously called Hindu Ocean, Indic Ocean, etc. in various languages. The Indian Ocean was also known earlier as the Eastern Ocean, a term was still in use during the mid-18th century (see map).Conversely, when China explored the Indian Ocean in the 15th century they called it the "Western Oceans".{{Harvnb|Hui|2010|loc=Abstract}}In Ancient Greek geography the region of the Indian Ocean known to them was called the Erythraean Sea.BOOK
, Anonymous, Schoff, Wilfred Harvey
, Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
, 1912, s:Periplus of the Erythraean Sea,
A relatively new concept of an "Indian Ocean World" and attempts to rewrite its history has resulted in new proposed names, such as 'Asian Sea' and 'Afrasian Sea'.{{Harvnb|Prange|2008|loc=Fluid Borders: Encompassing the Ocean, pp. 1382–1385}}


File:Indian Ocean-CIA WFB Map.png|thumb|left|Extent of the Indian Ocean according to International Hydrographic OrganizationInternational Hydrographic Organization

Extent and data

The borders of the Indian Ocean, as delineated by the International Hydrographic Organization in 1953 included the Southern Ocean but not the marginal seas along the northern rim, but in 2000 the IHO delimited the Southern Ocean separately, which removed waters south of 60°S from the Indian Ocean, but included the northern marginal seas.{{Harvnb|IHO 1953}}{{Harvnb|IHO 2002}} Meridionally, the Indian Ocean is delimited from the Atlantic Ocean by the 20° east meridian, running south from Cape Agulhas, and from the Pacific Ocean by the meridian of 146°49'E, running south from the southernmost point of Tasmania. The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean (including marginal seas) is approximately 30° north in the Persian Gulf.The Indian Ocean covers {{Convert|70,560,000|km2|abbr=on}}, including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf but excluding the Southern Ocean, or 19.5% of the world's oceans; its volume is {{Convert|264,000,000|km3|abbr=on}} or 19.8% of the world's oceans' volume; it has an average depth of {{Convert|3741|m|abbr=on}} and a maximum depth of {{Convert|7906|m|abbr=on}}.All of the Indian Ocean is in the Eastern Hemisphere and the centre of the Eastern Hemisphere, the 90th meridian east, passes through the Ninety East Ridge.

Coasts and shelves

In contrast to the Atlantic and Pacific, the Indian Ocean is enclosed by major landmasses and an archipelago on three sides and does not stretch from pole to pole and can be likened to an embayed ocean.It is centred on the Indian Peninsula and although this subcontinent has played a major role in its history the Indian Ocean has foremostly been a cosmopolitan stage interlinking diverse regions by innovations, trade, and religion since early in human history.The ocean's continental shelves are narrow, averaging {{convert|200|km}} in width. An exception is found off Australia's western coast, where the shelf width exceeds {{convert|1000|km}}. North of 50° south latitude, 86% of the main basin is covered by pelagic sediments, of which more than half is globigerina ooze. The remaining 14% is layered with terrigenous sediments. Glacial outwash dominates the extreme southern latitudes.Australia, Indonesia, and India are the three countries with the longest shorelines and exclusive economic zones. The continental shelf makes up 15% of the Indian Ocean.More than two billion people live in countries bordering the Indian Ocean, compared to 1.7 billion for the Atlantic and 2.7 billion for the Pacific (some countries border more than one ocean).


The Indian Ocean drainage basin covers {{Convert|21100000|km2|abbr=on}}, virtually identical to that of the Pacific Ocean and half that of the Atlantic basin, or 30% of its ocean surface (compared to 15% for the Pacific). The Indian Ocean drainage basin is divided into roughly 800 individual basins, half that of the Pacific, of which 50% are located in Asia, 30% in Africa, and 20% in Australasia. The rivers of the Indian Ocean are shorter in average ({{Convert|740|km|abbr=on}}) than those the other major oceans. The largest rivers are (order 5) the Zambezi, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Jubba, and Murray rivers and (order 4) the Shatt al-Arab, Wadi Ad Dawasir (a dried out river system on the Arabian Peninsula) and Limpopo rivers.{{Harvnb|Vörösmarty|Fekete|Meybeck|Lammers|2000|loc=Drainage basin area of each ocean, pp. 609–616; Table 5, p 614; Reconciling Continental and Oceanic Perspectives, pp. 616–617}}

Marginal seas

Marginal seas, gulfs, bays and straits of the Indian Ocean include:Along the east coast of Africa the Mozambique Channel separates Madagascar from mainland Africa, while the Sea of Zanj is located north of Madagascar.On the northern coast of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden is connected to the Red Sea by the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. In the Gulf of Aden the Gulf of Tadjoura is located in Djibouti and the Guardafui Channel separates Socotra island from the Horn of Africa. The northern end of the Red Sea terminates in the Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez. The Indian Ocean is artificially connected to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, which is accessible via the Red Sea. The Arabian Sea is connected to the Persian Gulf by the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. In the Persian Gulf the Gulf of Bahrain separates Qatar from the Arabic Peninsula.Along the west coast of India, the Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambat are located in Gujarat in the northern end while the Laccadive Sea separates the Maldives from the southern tip of India.The Bay of Bengal is off the eastcoast of India. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separates Sri Lanka from India, while the Adam's Bridge separates the two. The Andaman Sea is located between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Islands.In Indonesia, the so-called Indonesian Seaway is composed of the Malacca, Sunda and Torres Straits.The Gulf of Carpentaria of located on the Australian north coast while the Great Australian Bight constitutes a large part of its southern coast.


(File:Indian Ocean Monsoon.jpg|thumb|During summer, warm continental masses draw moist air from the Indian Ocean hence producing heavy rainfall. The process is reversed during winter, resulting in dry conditions.)Several features make the Indian Ocean unique. It constitutes the core of the large-scale Tropical Warm Pool which, when interacting with the atmosphere, affects the climate both regionally and globally. Asia blocks heat export and prevents the ventilation of the Indian Ocean thermocline. That continent also drives the Indian Ocean monsoon, the strongest on Earth, which causes large-scale seasonal variations in ocean currents, including the reversal of the Somali Current and Indian Monsoon Current. Because of the Indian Ocean Walker circulation there is no continuous equatorial easterlies. Upwelling occurs near the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in the Northern Hemisphere and north of the trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The Indonesian Throughflow is a unique Equatorial connection to the Pacific.{{Harvnb|Schott|Xie|McCreary|2009|loc=Introduction, pp. 1–2}}The climate north of the equator is affected by a monsoon climate. Strong north-east winds blow from October until April; from May until October south and west winds prevail. In the Arabian Sea the violent Monsoon brings rain to the Indian subcontinent. In the southern hemisphere, the winds are generally milder, but summer storms near Mauritius can be severe. When the monsoon winds change, cyclones sometimes strike the shores of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.WEB
, U.S. Navy Oceanographer
, 4 August 2001
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 2 August 2001
, yes
, dmy-all
, Some 80% of the total annual rainfall in India occurs during summer and the region is so dependent of this rainfall that many civilisations perished when the Monsoon failed in the past. Huge variability in the Indian Summer Monsoon has also occurred pre-historically, with a strong, wet phase 33,500–32,500 BP; a weak, dry phase 26,000–23,500 BC; and a very weak phase 17,000–15,000 BP,corresponding to a series of dramatic global events: Bølling-Allerød, Heinrich, and Younger Dryas.{{Harvnb|Dutt|Gupta|Clemens|Cheng|2015|loc=Abstract; Introduction, pp. 5526–5527}}(File:Aerosol pollution over Northern India, Bangladesh, and Bay of Bengal.jpg|thumb|Air pollution in South Asia spread over the Bay of Bengal and beyond.)The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world.WEB
, Which Ocean is the Warmest?, Worldatlas, 17 September 2018
, 28 April 2019, Long-term ocean temperature records show a rapid, continuous warming in the Indian Ocean, at about {{Convert|1.2|°C|abbr=on}} (compared to {{Convert|0.7|°C|abbr=on}} for the warm pool region) during 1901–2012.{{Harvnb|Roxy|Ritika|Terray|Masson|2014|loc=Abstract}} Research indicates that human induced greenhouse warming, and changes in the frequency and magnitude of El Niño (or the Indian Ocean Dipole), events are a trigger to this strong warming in the Indian Ocean.
South of the Equator (20-5°S) the Indian Ocean is gaining heat from June to October, during the austral winter, while it is losing heat from November to March, during the austral summer.{{Harvnb|Carton|Chepurin|Cao|2000|p=321}}In 1999, the Indian Ocean Experiment showed that fossil fuel and biomass burning in South and Southeast Asia caused air pollution (also known as the Asian brown cloud) that reach as far as the Intertropical Convergence Zone at 60°S. This pollution has implications on both a local and global scale.{{Harvnb|Lelieveld|Crutzen|Ramanathan|Andreae|2001|loc=Abstract}}


The ocean's currents are mainly controlled by the monsoon. Two large gyres, one in the northern hemisphere flowing clockwise and one south of the equator moving anticlockwise (including the Agulhas Current and Agulhas Return Current), constitute the dominant flow pattern. During the winter monsoon (November–February), however, circulation is reversed north of 30°S and winds are weakened during winter and the transitional periods between the monsoons.{{Harvnb|Shankar|Vinayachandran|Unnikrishnan|2002|loc=Introduction, pp. 64–66}}Deep water circulation is controlled primarily by inflows from the Atlantic Ocean, the Red Sea, and Antarctic currents. North of 20° south latitude the minimum surface temperature is {{convert|22|C}}, exceeding {{convert|28|C}} to the east. Southward of 40° south latitude, temperatures drop quickly.Water circulation in the Indian Ocean is dominated by the Subtropical Anticyclonic Gyre, the eastern extension of which is blocked by the Southeast Indian Ridge and the 90°E Ridge. Madagascar and the Southwest Indian Ridge separates three cells south of Madagascar and off South Africa. North Atlantic Deep Water reaches into the Indian Ocean south of Africa at a depth of {{Convert|2000|-|3000|m|abbr=on}} and flows north along the eastern continental slope of Africa. Deeper than NADW, Antarctic Bottom Water flows from Enderby Basin to Agulhas Basin across deep channels (

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