A

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Andorra
Angola
Anguilla
Antartica
Antigua & Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Argentina
Armenia
Aruba
Ashmore & Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan

B

Bahamas
Bahrain
Baker Island
Bangladesh
Barbados
Bassas da India
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswanna
Bouvet Island
Brazil
British Indian Ocean
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi

C

Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (DRC)
Congo
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cota D'Ivory
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republich

D

Denmark
Dijouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic

E

East Timor
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Europa Islands

F

Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Southern Antarctic Lands

G

Gabon
Gambia
Gaza Strip
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Glorioso Islands
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea Bissau
Guinea Bissau
Guyana

H

Haiti
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Howland Island
Hungary

I

Iceland
India
Indian Ocean
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Isreal
Italy

J

Jamaica
Jan Mayen
Japan
Jarvis Island
Jersey
Johnston Atoll
Jordan
Juan de Nova

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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Indian Ocean



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Indian Ocean Top of Page
Background:

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, but larger than the Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean). Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran-Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia). The decision by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 to delimit a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the portion of the Indian Ocean south of 60 degrees south latitude.

   Geography    Indian Ocean Top of Page
Location:

body of water between Africa, the Southern Ocean, Asia, and Australia
Geographic coordinates:

20 00 S, 80 00 E
Map references:

Political Map of the World
Area:

total: 68.556 million sq km
note: includes Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Flores Sea, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Java Sea, Mozambique Channel, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Savu Sea, Strait of Malacca, Timor Sea, and other tributary water bodies
Area - comparative:

about 5.5 times the size of the US
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 northern Indian Ocean and January/February in the southern Indian Ocean
Terrain:

surface dominated by counterclockwise gyre (broad, circular system of currents) in the southern Indian Ocean; unique reversal of surface currents in the northern Indian Ocean; low atmospheric pressure over southwest Asia from hot, rising, summer air results in the southwest monsoon and southwest-to-northeast winds and currents, while high pressure over northern Asia from cold, falling, winter air results in the northeast monsoon and northeast-to-southwest winds and currents; ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Indian Ocean Ridge and subdivided by 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, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules
Natural hazards:

occasional icebergs pose navigational hazard in southern reaches
Environment - current issues:

endangered marine species include the dugong, seals, turtles, and whales; oil pollution in the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea
Geography - note:

major chokepoints include Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca, southern access to the Suez Canal, and the Lombok Strait


   Economy    Indian Ocean Top of Page
Economy - overview:

The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and the Americas. It carries a particularly heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia. Its fish are of great and growing importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. Fishing fleets from Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan also exploit the Indian Ocean, mainly for shrimp and tuna. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore areas of Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, and western Australia. An estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. Beach sands rich in heavy minerals and offshore placer deposits are actively exploited by bordering countries, particularly India, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

   Transportation    Indian Ocean Top of Page
Ports and terminals:

Chennai (Madras; India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Durban (South Africa), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kolkata (Calcutta; India) Melbourne (Australia), Mumbai (Bombay; India), Richards Bay (South Africa)

   Transnational Issues    Indian Ocean Top of Page
Disputes - international:

some maritime disputes (see littoral states)

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Bottom Banner

K

Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kingman Reef
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgystan

L

Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg

M

Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Micronesia
Midway Island
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique

N

Namibia
Nauru
Navassa Island
Nepal
Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
North Korea
Northern Mariana Islands
Norway

O

Oman

P

Pacific Ocean
Pakistan
Palau
Palmyra Atoll
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico

Q

Qatar

R

Reunion
Romania
Russia
Rwanda

S

St. Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Pierra & Miquelon
St Vincent & Grenadines
Samoa
San Marina
Sao Tome & Principle
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia & Montenegro
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Southern Islands
Spain
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Svalbard
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria

T

Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tromelin Island
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tuvalu

U

Uganda
UK
Ukraine
UAE
Uruguay
USA
Uzbekistan

V

Vanuatu
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Islands

W

Wake Island
Wallis & Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara
The World

Y

Yemen

Z

Zimbabwe
Zambia