The Exotic Seas of Southeast Asia

PI(s): 
Arnold L. Gordon

A truly unique part of the ocean’s geography is the seas of Southeast Asia: the Java Sea, the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea.  Stretching more than 2800 miles from Australia to southeast Asia, with more than 20000 islands, the constraints of narrow passages and seas, with varied sizes and depths, represents an interesting challenge to our understanding of ocean processes.  Through these southeast Asian seas tropical Pacific water weaves its way into the Indian Ocean which affects the characteristics of such well known climate phenomena as El Niño and the Asian monsoon.