Timor Sea

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The Timor Sea

The Timor Sea (Indonesian: Laut Timor; Portugeuse: Mar Timor) is an arm of the Indian Ocean situated between the island of Timor, now split between the states of Indonesia and East Timor, and the Northern Territory of Australia. The waters to the east are known as the Arafura Sea, technically an arm of the Pacific Ocean. It is about 480 km (300 miles) wide.

A number of significant islands are located in the sea, notably Melville Island off Australia and the Australian-governed Ashmore and Cartier Islands. It is thought that early humans reached Australia by "island-hopping" across the Timor Sea.

Beneath the Timor Sea lie considerable reserves of oil and gas. Australia and East Timor have had a lengthy dispute over exploitation rights in an area known as the Timor Gap. This is the area where Australia's territorial claim, which extends to the bathymetric axis (the line of greatest sea-bed depth), overlaps that of East Timor, which follows the former colonial power Portugal in claiming that the dividing line should be midway between the two countries.de:Timor See et:Timori meri pl:Morze Timor

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