Coral sea

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Location of the Coral Sea
The Coral Sea , part of the South Pacific
northeast of Australia

The Coral Sea or the Coral Sea ( English Coral Sea , French Mer de Corail ) is a tributary of the Pacific Ocean between Australia , New Guinea , the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu .

It borders the Solomon Sea in the northeast and the Tasman Sea in the south ; It is connected to the Arafura Sea in the northwest via the Torres Strait . To the north of the Coral Sea is the Gulf of Papua , and to the northwest is the Torres Strait with its islands .

The sea is characterized by numerous coral reefs . The largest reef complexes are the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast and the New Caledonian Barrier Reef around New Caledonia .


The Belep and Chesterfield Islands , which belong to New Caledonia (and according to the definition of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) also the main island Grande Terre , the Loyalty Islands and the Île des Pins ) lie within the more than 4,791,000 km² of the Coral Sea , as well as off the Australian coast (outside the Great Barrier Reef) the Coral Sea Islands , an Australian outer area since 1969 . Except for a manned weather station on Willis Islet , these islands are uninhabited; They also include the Lihou Reef , which is one of the largest atolls on earth with a lagoon of around 2500 km². Between the Great Barrier Reef and the Australian coast, in the coastal waters of Queensland , lie the Cumberland Islands with the touristic Whitsunday Islands . The Louisiade Archipelago , which belongs to Papua New Guinea , forms the border to the Solomon Sea , but lies mostly north of the border line defined by the IHO. In contrast, the Vanuatus Islands - the New Hebrides , Banks and Torres Islands  - are located in the Coral Sea according to IHO's definition and form its eastern border with their east coast.

According to IHO, the border to the Tasman Sea runs along the 30th parallel south from mainland Australia to Elizabeth Reef. In practice, however, the boundary between the coastal waters of Queensland and New South Wales (about one degree further north) is also considered to be the boundary between the two seas, so that, depending on the definition, the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs lie on the edge of the Coral Sea or in the Tasman Sea .


In 1942 a sea ​​battle between Japanese and Allied naval units took place in the Coral Sea , the result of which led to the termination of the Japanese invasion of Port Moresby .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Coral Sea. In: Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved October 20, 2019 . According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Coral Sea lies “west of New Caledonia”, so that the space between Grande Terre and the New Hebrides is apparently not included.
  2. a b c Limits of Oceans and Seas , 3rd edition. (PDF; 994 kB) International Hydrographic Organization , 1953, p. 37; accessed on April 3, 2020.

Coordinates: 17 °  S , 155 °  E