Australia and Indonesia are two countries located in the southern hemisphere and are separated by a body of water. While the countries have their unique characteristics, they share a natural feature that influences their economies and daily life. This article aims to highlight the body of water to the west of Australia and Indonesia, its geographical and physical characteristics, its role in regional and global trade, marine life and biodiversity, and its environmental challenges and conservation efforts.
Location of Australia and Indonesia
Australia is located in the southern hemisphere between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it is the world’s sixth-largest country by land area. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, comprising over 17,000 islands, with over 270 million people living in the country. It is located in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and it shares borders with Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia.
The western region of Australia and Indonesia
The western region of Australia and Indonesia is situated on the southeastern edge of the Indian Ocean. This region includes the Western Australian coastline, which is approximately 12,889 km long, and the Indonesian coastline, which is approximately 54,716 km long. The western region of Australia and Indonesia is characterised by spectacular coastlines, coral reefs, and vast marine biodiversity. The region also features a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 33°C on average.
The body of water to the west of Australia and Indonesia
The body of water to the west of Australia and Indonesia is known as the Indian Ocean. It is the third-largest ocean in the world, covering an area of approximately 70.6 million square kilometres. The Indian Ocean is bounded by Asia to the north, Australia to the east, Africa to the west, and the Southern Ocean to the south. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean through the Indonesian archipelago, and it is connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the southern tip of Africa.
Geographical and physical characteristics of the body of water
The Indian Ocean is a warm, saltwater ocean with an average temperature of 22°C to 28°C. It has an average depth of 3,890 metres and a maximum depth of 7,450 metres. The ocean floor is characterised by vast plains, seamounts, and deep trenches. The ocean currents in the Indian Ocean are driven by the monsoon winds, which blow from the southwest in the summer and from the northeast in the winter.
Climate and weather patterns of the body of water
The Indian Ocean is characterised by a tropical climate, with an annual rainfall of 1000mm to 1500mm in the coastal regions. The ocean influences the climate of the surrounding regions, providing moisture and warmth to the areas around it. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a climate phenomenon that occurs in the Indian Ocean, affecting the weather patterns of the surrounding regions. It is characterised by a change in the sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure, causing droughts and floods in the affected areas.
The role of the body of water in regional and global trade
The Indian Ocean plays a significant role in regional and global trade, serving as a major shipping route for international trade. It connects the Middle East, East Africa, and South Asia to the rest of the world, providing a gateway to the countries in the region. The Indian Ocean is also rich in natural resources, such as fish, oil, gas, and minerals, contributing to the economies of the surrounding countries.
The marine life and biodiversity in the body of water
The Indian Ocean is home to various marine species, with over 3000 fish species and 2500 invertebrate species living in its waters. The coral reefs in the Indian Ocean are some of the most diverse in the world, providing habitats for many fish species and other marine animals. The ocean’s biodiversity is threatened by overfishing, pollution, and climate change.
Tourism and recreational activities in the area
The Indian Ocean attracts tourists and visitors from around the world, offering a variety of recreational activities, such as surfing, scuba diving, and snorkelling. The region’s islands, beaches, and coral reefs are popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors to their natural beauty and marine biodiversity.
Environmental challenges and conservation efforts in the region
The Indian Ocean faces many environmental challenges, including overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change. The coastal regions of the Indian Ocean are home to some of the world’s most significant mangrove forests, which face threats from deforestation and development. Various conservation efforts are underway to protect the ocean’s biodiversity and habitats, including marine protected areas, sustainable fishing practices, and plastic reduction initiatives.
Conclusion: Importance of the body of water to the region and the world
The Indian Ocean plays a critical role in the economies and daily life of the countries surrounding it, acting as a gateway for international trade, providing natural resources, and supporting marine biodiversity. The ocean also poses environmental challenges that require action to protect its habitats and resources. The Indian Ocean’s significance extends beyond the region, influencing global weather patterns and serving as a vital component of the earth’s ecological systems.
References and further reading
- Indian Ocean Commission. (2021). Indian Ocean. Retrieved from https://www.coi-ioc.org/indian-ocean
- National Geographic. (2021). Indian Ocean. Retrieved from
- World Wildlife Fund. (2021). Indian Ocean. Retrieved from https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/im0134