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Sediments and Possible Phytoplankton Growth in Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria – August 22nd, 2011

11.3S 139.1E

August 22nd, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton, Sediments

Australia and New Guinea - August 2nd, 2011

Sediments and possibly phytoplankton growth color the Arafura Sea (above) and the Gulf of Carpentaria (below). The sediments are particularly concentrated along the coasts of the Gulf and of New Guinea (top).

The Arafura Sea lies west of the Pacific Ocean, overlying the continental shelf between Australia and New Guinea. It is bordered by the Torres Strait and through that the Coral Sea to the east, the Gulf of Carpentaria to the south, the Timor Sea to the west and the Banda and Ceram seas to the northwest.

It is 1,290 kilometres (800 miles) long and 560 kilometres (350 miles) wide. The depth of the sea is primarily 50-80 metres (165-265 feet) with the depth increasing to the west. As a shallow tropical sea, its waters are a breeding ground for tropical cyclones.

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