Timor Sea Facts

Timor Sea Facts
The Timor Sea is located to the west of Australia, east of the Arafura Sea and south of Timor Island. The Timor Sea is fairly shallow, with an average depth of 1,332 feet and a maximum depth of 10,500 feet. It covers an area of 240,000 square miles. Within the Timor Sea are many reefs, hydrocarbon (fossil fuel reserves) reserves, and several uninhabited islands. There are three inlets on Australia's northern coast adjacent to the Timor Sea, including Van Diemen Gulf, Beagle Gulf, and Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. The only large city that touches on the Timor Sea's coast is Darwin, Australia.
Interesting Timor Sea Facts:
The deepest point of Timor Sea is Timor Trough, considered the south-east extension of Java Trench.
There are several submerged banks located between Timor Trough and the continental shelf, called the Big Bank Shoals.
A 50km wide crater was discovered in 2010 on the Timor Sea's seabed.
It is common for cyclones or tropical storms to either originate or pass through the Timor Sea. When these storms occur it is not uncommon for oil and gas production to shut down as a safety precaution.
The Timor Sea is considered by the International Hydrographic organization to be part of the East Indian Archipelago waters.
Islands located in the Timor Sea include Melville Island, Asmore and Cartier Islands, and parts of the Tiwi Islands.
There is an oceanic current running through the Timor Sea, contributing to the Indonesian through flow that takes water from the Pacific to the Indian Oceam. This current runs in a south-western direction from the Indonesian archipelago and Australia in the Timor Sea.
There are extensive natural gas and oil reserves under the Timor Sea and a pipeline exists from the Joint Petroleum Development Area to Wickham Point.
In 2009 the Timor Sea was the location of Australia's worst oil spill. The spill lasted from August 21 to November 3, and each day it is estimated that the equivalent of 400 barrels oil were leaked.
There have been ongoing disputes about the ownership rights to the Timor Sea due to its extensive oil and gas reserves. The original treaty between Australia and Indonesia was called the Timor Gap Treaty. Later a new treaty was established called the Timor Sea Treaty.
The Japanese Navy used the Timor Sea during World War II to launch planes and air raids on Australia.
On February 19, 1942 the attack by the Japanese Navy on Darwin resulted in the Battle of Timor's beginning.
East of the island of Timor there have been many rare dolphins discovered to be living. There have also been short-finned pilot whales, melon-headed whales, blue whales, and beaked whales found in these waters.
Marine life that was affected by the Timor Sea oil spill includes dolphins, sea snakes, seabirds, and turtles.
Rivers that flow into the Timor Sea include King River, Fish River, Victoria River, Dry River, Alligator Rivers, Ord River, Forrest River, Durack River, and Pentecost River.
Some believe that when the Timor Sea was much shallower that Australia's first inhabitants crossed over from Indonesia.

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