What is the Gulf of Carpentaria?

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What is the Gulf of Carpentaria? Blog Image


A new tropical cyclone warning has been recently issued for the Gulf of Carpentaria.

About Gulf of Carpentaria

  • It is a shallow rectangular sea on the northern coast of Australia and an inlet of the eastern Arafura Sea (a Pacific Ocean sea separating New Guinea and Australia).
  • The gulf has an area of 120,000 square miles (310,000 square km) and a maximum depth of 230 feet (70 metres).
  • It is 590 kilometers wide at the mouth and 675 kilometers wide near the southern coast. It is over 700 kilometers long, from north to south.
  • The gulf covers a continental shelf common to both New Guinea and Australia.
  • A ridge extends across Torres Strait, separating the floor of the gulf from the Coral Sea to the east. 
  • It is a rare modern example of an epicontinental sea (a shallow sea on top of a continent), a feature much more common at earlier times in the Earth’s geologic history.
  • At least 20 rivers empty into the gulf, including the Roper, Wilton, Walker, Calvert, Flinders, McArthur, and Norman Rivers.
  • There are several islands in the gulf, with Groote Eylandt, being the largest.
  • The gulf also contains fringing reefs and coral colonies. 
  • It gained international recognition in the 20th and 21st centuries following the discovery and exploitation of several mineral resources, including manganese and bauxite.
Read More:
Gulf of OmanGulf of California
Gulf of AdenGulf of Mexico

Q1) What is a Gulf?

The Gulf is a portion of the sea that is almost surrounded by land except one narrow opening. Gulfs are formed when a giant rock collapses or when a piece of land sinks. This causes a big indentation in the area, and the water eventually fills it up. Gulfs are also formed through a natural process of erosion.

Source: Another cyclone alert for Northern Australia