Bay of Bengal

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Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal map.png
Map of Bay of Bengal
LocationSouth Asia and Southeast Asia
Coordinates 15°N88°E / 15°N 88°E / 15; 88 Coordinates: 15°N88°E / 15°N 88°E / 15; 88
Type Bay
Primary inflows Indian Ocean
Basin  countriesFlag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Flag of India.svg  India
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka [1] [2]
Max. length2,090 km (1,300 mi)
Max. width1,610 km (1,000 mi)
Surface area2,172,000 km2 (839,000 sq mi)
Average depth2,600 m (8,500 ft)
Max. depth4,694 m (15,400 ft)

The Bay of Bengal is the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, bounded on the west and northwest by India, on the north by Bangladesh, and on the east by Myanmar and the Andaman Islands of India and Myanmar and the Nicobar Islands of India. Its southern limit is a line between Sangaman Kanda, Sri Lanka and the north westernmost point of Sumatra (Indonesia). It is the largest water region called a bay in the world. There are countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Contents

The Bay of Bengal occupies an area of 2,172,000 square kilometres (839,000 sq mi). A number of large rivers flow into the Bay of Bengal: the GangesHooghly, the Padma, the BrahmaputraJamuna, the BarakSurmaMeghna, the Irrawaddy, the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Brahmani, the Baitarani, the Krishna and the Kaveri. Among the important ports are Chennai, Ennore, Chittagong, Colombo, Kolkata-Haldia, Mongla, Paradip, Port Blair, Thoothukudi, Visakhapatnam and Dhamra. Among the smaller ports are Gopalpur Port, Kakinada and Payra.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bay of Bengal as follows: [3]

On the east: A line running from Cape Negrais (16°03'N) in Burma through the larger islands of the Andaman group, in such a way that all the narrow waters between the islands lie eastward of the line and are excluded from the Bay of Bengal, as far as a point in Little Andaman Island in latitude 10°48'N, longitude 92°24'E and thence along the southwest limit of the Andaman Sea [A line running from Oedjong Raja ( 5°32′N95°12′E / 5.533°N 95.200°E / 5.533; 95.200 ) in Sumatra to Poeloe Bras (Breuëh) and on through the Western Islands of the Nicobar Group to Sandy Point in Little Andaman Island, in such a way that all the narrow waters appertain to the Andaman Sea].
On the south: Ram Sethu (between India and Ceylon [ Sri Lanka ]) and from the southern extreme of Dondra Head (south point of Ceylon) to the north point of Poeloe Bras ( 5°44′N95°04′E / 5.733°N 95.067°E / 5.733; 95.067 ).

Etymology

The bay gets its name from the historical Bengal region (The Indian state of West Bengal and modern-day Bangladesh). In ancient scriptures, this water body may have been referred to as 'Mahodadhi' (Sanskrit: महोदधि, lit. great water receptacle) [4] [5] [ better source needed ] while it appears as Sinus Gangeticus or Gangeticus Sinus, meaning "Gulf of the Ganges", in ancient maps. [6]

The other Sanskrit name for Bay of Bengal is 'Purvapayodhi' (Sanskrit: पूर्वपयोधि, lit. Eastern Ocean). Bengali name "Bongoposagor"(বঙ্গোপসাগর) has been derived from the English meaning of "Bay of Bengal". Similarly, Odia name "Bangaposagara"(ବଙ୍ଗୋପସାଗର) or other Indian names have been ascribed later by translating colonial dialect.

Rivers

Many major Rivers of India and Bangladesh flow west to east before draining into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganga is the northernmost of these rivers. Its main channel enters and flows through Bangladesh, where it is known as the Padma River, before joining the Meghna River. However, the Brahmaputra River flows from east to west in Assam before turning south and entering Bangladesh where it is called the Jamuna River. This joins the Padma where upon the Padma joins the Meghna River that finally drains into Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans is a mangrove forest in the southern part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta which lies in the Indian state of West Bengal and in Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra at 2,948 km (1,832 mi) is the 28th longest River in the world. It originates in Tibet. The Hooghly River, another channel of the Ganga that flows through Kolkata drains into Bay of Bengal at Sagar in West Bengal, India.

The Ganga–Brahmaputra-Barak rivers deposit nearly 1000 million tons of sediment every year. The sediment from these three rivers form the Bengal Delta and the submarine fan, a vast structure that extends from Bengal to south of the Equator, is up to 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) thick, and contains at least 1,130 trillion tonnes of sediment, which has accumulated over the last 17 million years at an average rate of 665 million tons per annum. [7] The fan has buried organic carbon at a rate of nearly 1.1 trillion mol/yr (13.2 million t/yr) since the early Miocene period. The three rivers currently contribute nearly 8% of the total organic carbon (TOC) deposited in the world's oceans. Due to high TOC accumulation in the deep sea bed of the Bay of Bengal, the area is rich in oil and natural gas and gas hydrate reserves. Bangladesh can reclaim land substantially and economically gain from the sea area by constructing sea dikes, bunds, causeways and by trapping the sediment from its rivers.

Further southwest of Bengal, the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri Rivers also flow from west to east across Deccan Plateau in Peninsular India and drain into the Bay of Bengal forming deltas. Many small rivers also drain directly into the Bay of Bengal forming estuaries; the shortest of them is the Cooum River at 64 km (40 mi).

The Irrawaddy (or Ayeyarwady) River in Myanmar flows into the Andaman Sea of the Bay of Bengal and once had thick mangrove forests of its own.

Seaports

The city of Visakhapatnam in India is a major port of the Bay of Bengal VizagPort.jpg
The city of Visakhapatnam in India is a major port of the Bay of Bengal

Indian ports on the bay include Paradip Port , Kolkata Port, Haldia Port, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Pondicherry, Dhamra, Gopalpur and Bangladeshi ports on the Bay are Chittagong, Mongla, Payra Port.

Islands

The islands in the bay are numerous, including the Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands and Mergui Archipelago of India and Myanmar. The Cheduba group of islands, in the north-east, off the Burmese coast, are remarkable for a chain of mud volcanoes, which are occasionally active. [8]

Great Andaman is the main archipelago or island group of the Andaman Islands, whereas Ritchie's Archipelago consists of smaller islands. Only 37, or 6.5%, of the 572 islands and islets of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are inhabited. [9]

Beaches

The Sunderbans bordering the Bay of Bengal is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. Sundarbans 09.jpg
The Sunderbans bordering the Bay of Bengal is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.
Cox's Bazar, the longest stretch of beach in the world. Cox's Bazar boats.jpg
Cox's Bazar, the longest stretch of beach in the world.
Sea BeachLocation
Cox's Bazar Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Kuakata Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
St. Martin's Island Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Sonadia Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Nijhum Dwip Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Inani Beach Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Teknaf Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Marina Beach, ChennaiFlag of India.svg  India
Bakkhali Beach, West BengalFlag of India.svg  India
Digha Beach, West BengalFlag of India.svg  India
Mandarmoni Beach, West Bengal Flag of India.svg  India
Tajpur Beach, West Bengal Flag of India.svg  India
Shankarpur Beach, West BengalFlag of India.svg  India
Pir Jahania, Odisha Flag of India.svg  India
Chandaneswar, OdishaFlag of India.svg  India
Chandipur, Odisha Flag of India.svg  India
Konarak, Odisha Flag of India.svg  India
Puri, OdishaFlag of India.svg  India
Gopalpur, Odisha Flag of India.svg  India
Baruva, Andhra Pradesh Flag of India.svg  India
Bheemili, Andhra Pradesh Flag of India.svg  India
RK Beach, VisakhapatnamFlag of India.svg  India
Rushikonda, Visakhapatnam Flag of India.svg  India
Yarada, Visakhapatnam Flag of India.svg  India
Manginapudi Beach, Andhra PradeshFlag of India.svg  India
Serenity Beach, PondicherryFlag of India.svg  India
Ngapali Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Ngwesaung Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Chaungtha, Pathein Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Sittwe Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
Galle Face Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka

Oceanography

Plate tectonics

The lithosphere of the earth is broken up into what are called tectonic plates. Underneath the Bay of Bengal, which is part of the great Indo-Australian Plate and is slowly moving north east. This plate meets the Burma Microplate at the Sunda Trench. The Nicobar Islands and the Andaman Islands are part of the Burma Microplate. The India Plate subducts beneath the Burma Plate at the Sunda Trench or Java Trench. Here, the pressure of the two plates on each other increase pressure and temperature resulting in the formation of volcanoes such as the volcanoes in Myanmar, and a volcanic arc called the Sunda Arc. The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and Asian tsunami was a result of the pressure at this zone causing a submarine earthquake which then resulted in a destructive tsunami. [12]

Marine geology

Bay of Bengal near Tenneti Park, Visakhapatnam Bay of Bengal and Beach from Tenneti park.jpg
Bay of Bengal near Tenneti Park, Visakhapatnam

A zone 50 m wide extending from the island of Ceylon and the Coromandel coast to the head of the bay, and thence southwards through a strip embracing the Andaman and Nicobar islands, is bounded by the 100 fathom line of sea bottom; some 50 m. beyond this lies the 500-fathom limit. Opposite the mouth of the Ganges, however, the intervals between these depths are very much extended by deltaic influence. [8]

Swatch of No Ground is a 14 km-wide deep sea canyon of the Bay of Bengal. The deepest recorded area of this valley is about 1340 m. [13] The submarine canyon is part of the Bengal Fan, the largest submarine fan in the world. [14] [15]

Marine biology, flora and fauna

A spinner dolphin in Bay of Bengal Spinnarc.JPG
A spinner dolphin in Bay of Bengal
Tachypleus gigas in Odisha Tachypleus gigas.JPG
Tachypleus gigas in Odisha

The Bay of Bengal is full of biological diversity, diverging amongst coral reefs, estuaries, fish spawning and nursery areas, and mangroves. The Bay of Bengal is one of the World's 64 largest marine ecosystems.

Kerilia jerdonii is a sea snake of the Bay of Bengal. Glory of Bengal cone ( Conus bengalensis ) is just one of the seashells which can be photographed along beaches of the Bay of Bengal. [16] An endangered species, the olive ridley sea turtle can survive because of the nesting grounds made available at the Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Gahirmatha Beach, Odisha, India. Marlin, barracuda, skipjack tuna, (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna, Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis), and Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) are a few of the marine animals. Bay of Bengal hogfish ( Bodianus neilli ) is a type of wrass which live in turbid lagoon reefs or shallow coastal reefs. Schools of dolphins can be seen, whether they are the bottle nose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) or the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris). Tuna and dolphins usually reside in the same waters. In shallower and warmer coastal waters the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) can be found. [17] [18]

The Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve provides sanctuary to many animals some of which include the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), giant leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis kamaroma) to name a few.

Another endangered species royal Bengal tiger is supported by Sundarbans a large estuarine delta that holds a mangrove area in the Ganges River Delta. [19] [20]

Chemical oceanography

Coastal regions bordering the Bay of Bengal are rich in minerals. Sri Lanka, Serendib, or Ratna – Dweepa which means Gem Island. Amethyst, beryl, ruby, sapphire, topaz, and garnet are just some of the gems of Sri Lanka. Garnet and other precious gems are also found in abundance in the Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. [21]

Physical oceanography – climate

From January to October, the current is northward flowing, and the clockwise circulation pattern is called the "East Indian Current". The Bay of Bengal monsoon moves in a northwest direction striking the Nicobar Islands, and the Andaman Islands first end of May, then coast of Mainland India by end of June.

The remainder of the year, the counterclockwise current is southwestward flowing, and the circulation pattern is called the East Indian Winter Jet. September and December see very active weather, season varsha (or monsoon), in the Bay of Bengal producing severe cyclones which affect eastern India. Several efforts have been initiated to cope with storm surge. [22]

Abyssal fan

Bay of Bengal fan, known as Bengal Fan, also known as the Ganges Fan is world's largest abyssal fan, also known as deep-sea fans, underwater deltas, and submarine fans. The fan is about 3,000 km (1,900 mi) long, 1,430 km (890 mi) wide with a maximum thickness of 16.5 km (10.3 mi). [23] The fan resulted from the uplift and erosion of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau produced by the collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Most of the sediment is supplied by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers which supply the Lower Meghna delta in Bangladesh and the Hoogly delta in West Bengal (India). Several other large rivers in Bangladesh and India provide smaller contributions. [14] Turbidity currents have transported the sediment through a series of submarine canyons, some of which are more than 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) in length, to be deposited in the Bay of Bengal up to 30 degrees latitude from where it began. To date, the oldest sediments recovered from the Bengal fan are from Early Miocene age. [24] Their mineralogical and geochemical characteristics allow to identify their Himalayan origin and demonstrate that the Himalaya was already a major mountain range 20 million years ago. [25]

The fan completely covers the floor of the Bay of Bengal. [26] It is bordered to the west by the continental slope of eastern India, to the north by the continental slope of Bangladesh and to east by the northern part of Sunda Trench off Myanmar and the Andaman Islands, the accretionary wedge associated with subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate beneath the Sunda Plate and continues along the west side of the Ninety East Ridge. [26] [15] The Nicobar Fan, another lobe of the fan, lies east of the Ninety East Ridge. [15]

The fan is now being explored as a possible source of fossil fuels for the surrounding developing nations.

The fan was first identified by bathymetric survey in the sixties by Bruce C. Heezen and Marie Tharp which identified the abyssal cone and canyon structures. It was delineated and named by Joseph Curray and David Moore following a geological and geophysical survey in 1968. [15] [27]

Tropical storms and cyclones

Cyclone Sidr at its peak near Bangladesh Sidr 14 nov 2007 0445Z.jpg
Cyclone Sidr at its peak near Bangladesh

A tropical storm with rotating winds blowing at speeds of 119 km/h (74 mph) is called a cyclone when they originate over the Bay of Bengal, and called a hurricane in the Atlantic. [28] Between 100,000 and 500,000 residents of Bangladesh were killed because of the 1970 Bhola cyclone.

Historic sites

The Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the shore of the Bay of Bengal Shore Temple on Bay of Bengal.jpg
The Shore Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the shore of the Bay of Bengal

Religious importance

The Bay of Bengal in the stretch of Swargadwar, the gateway to heaven in Sanskrit, in the Indian town of Puri is considered holy by Hindus.

Samudra arati or worship of the sea by disciples of the Govardhan Matha at Puri Samudra arati.jpg
Samudra arati or worship of the sea by disciples of the Govardhan Matha at Puri

The Samudra arati is a daily tradition started by the present Shankaracharya of Puri 9 years ago to honour the sacred sea. [32] The daily practise includes prayer and fire offering to the sea at Swargadwar in Puri by disciples of the Govardhana matha of the Shankaracharya. On Paush Purnima of every year the Shankaracharya himself comes out to offer prayers to the sea.

Economy

One of the first trading ventures along the Bay of Bengal was The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies more commonly referred to as the British East India Company. Gopalpur-on-Sea was one of their main trading centers. Other trading companies along the Bay of Bengal shorelines were the English East India Company and the French East India Company. [33]

BIMSTEC Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) supports free trade internationally around the Bay of Bengal between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project is a new venture proposed which would create a channel for a shipping route to link the Gulf of Mannar with the Bay of Bengal. This would connect India from east to west without the necessity of going around Sri Lanka.

Thoni and catamaran fishing boats of fishing villages thrive along the Bay of Bengal shorelines. Fishermen can catch between 26 and 44 species of marine fish. [34] In one year, the average catch is two million tons of fish from the Bay of Bengal alone. [35] Approximately 31% of the world's coastal fishermen live and work on the bay. [36]

Strategic importance

The Bay of Bengal is centrally located in South and Southeast Asia. It lies at the center of two huge economic blocks, the SAARC and ASEAN. It influences China's southern landlocked region in the north and major sea ports of India and Bangladesh. China, India, and Bangladesh have forged naval cooperation agreements with Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to increase cooperation in checking terrorism in the high seas. [37]

Image of United States ships participating in the Malabar 2007 naval exercise. Aegis cruisers from the navies of Japan and Australia, and logistical support ships from Singapore and India in the Bay of Bengal took part. Malabar 07-2 exercise.jpg
Image of United States ships participating in the Malabar 2007 naval exercise. Aegis cruisers from the navies of Japan and Australia, and logistical support ships from Singapore and India in the Bay of Bengal took part.

Its outlying islands (the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and, most importantly, major ports such as Paradip Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Tuticorin, Chittagong, and Mongla, along its coast with the Bay of Bengal added to its importance. [38]

China has recently made efforts to project influence into the region through tie-ups with Myanmar and Bangladesh. [39] The United States has held major exercises with Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and recently India. [40] [41] [42] [43] The largest ever wargame in Bay of Bengal, known as Malabar 2007, was held in 2007 and naval warships from US, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Australia took part. India was a participant.

Large deposits of natural gas in the areas within Bangladesh's sea zone incited a serious urgency by India and Myanmar into a territorial dispute. [37] Disputes over rights of some oil and gas blocks have caused brief diplomatic spats between Myanmar and India with Bangladesh.

The disputed maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar resulted in military tensions in 2008 and 2009. Bangladesh is pursuing a settlement with Myanmar and India to the boundary dispute through the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. [44]

Environmental hazards

Pollution

The Asian brown cloud, a layer of air pollution that covers much of South Asia and the Indian Ocean every year between January and March, and possibly also during earlier and later months, hangs over the Bay of Bengal. It is considered to be a combination of vehicle exhaust, smoke from cooking fires, and industrial discharges. [45] Because of this cloud, satellites attempting to track ocean acidification and other ocean health indicators in the Bay have difficulty obtaining accurate measurements. [46]

Transboundary issues affecting the marine ecosystem

A transboundary issue is defined as an environmental problem in which either the cause of the problem and/or its impact is separated by a national boundary; or the problem contributes to a global environmental problem and finding regional solutions is considered to be a global environmental benefit. The eight Bay of Bengal countries have (2012) identified three major transboundary problems (or areas of concern) affecting the health of the Bay, that they can work on together. With the support of the Bay Of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BOBLME), the eight countries are now (2012) developing responses to these issues and their causes, for future implementation as the Strategic Action Programme.

Overexploitation of fisheries

Some small fishing boats are catching fish & sell them in local coastal markets Bay of Bengal 2.jpg
Some small fishing boats are catching fish & sell them in local coastal markets

Fisheries production in the Bay of Bengal is six million tonnes per year, more than seven percent of the world's catch. The major transboundary issues relating to shared fisheries are: a decline in the overall availability of fish resources; changes in species composition of catches; the high proportion of juvenile fish in the catch; and changes in marine biodiversity, especially through loss of vulnerable and endangered species. The transboundary nature of these issues are: that many fish stocks are shared between BOBLME countries through the transboundary migration of fish, or larvae. Fishing overlaps national jurisdictions, both legally and illegally – overcapacity and overfishing in one location forces a migration of fishers and vessels to other locations. All countries (to a greater or lesser degree) are experiencing difficulties in implementing fisheries management, especially the ecosystem approach to fisheries. Bay of Bengal countries contribute significantly to the global problem of loss of vulnerable and endangered species.

The main causes of the issues are: open access to fishing grounds; Government emphasis on increasing fish catches; inappropriate government subsidies provided to fishers; increasing fishing effort, especially from trawlers and purse seiners; high consumer demand for fish, including for seed and fishmeal for aquaculture; ineffective fisheries management; and illegal and destructive fishing.

Degradation of critical habitats

The Bay of Bengal is an area of high biodiversity, with many endangered and vulnerable species. The major transboundary issues relating to habitats are: the loss and degradation of mangrove habitats; degradation of coral reefs; and the loss of, and damage to, seagrasses. The transboundary nature of these major issues are: that all three critical habitats occur in all BOBLME countries. Coastal development for several varying uses of the land and sea are common in all BOBLME countries. Trade in products from all the habitats is transboundary in nature. Climate change impacts are shared by all BOBLME countries. The main causes of the issues are: food security needs of the coastal poor; lack of coastal development plans; increasing trade in products from coastal habitats; coastal development and industrialization; ineffective marine protected areas and lack of enforcement; upstream development that affects water-flow; intensive upstream agricultural practices; and increasing tourism.

Pollution and water quality

The major transboundary issues relating to pollution and water quality are: sewage-borne pathogens and organic load; solid waste/marine litter; increasing nutrient inputs; oil pollution; persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and persistent toxic substances (PTSs); sedimentation; and heavy metals. The transboundary nature of these issues are: discharge of untreated/partially treated sewage being a common problem. Sewage and organic discharges from the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River are likely to be transboundary. Plastics and derelict fishing gear can be transported long distances across national boundaries. High nutrient discharges from rivers could intensify largescale hypoxia. Atmospheric transport of nutrients is inherently transboundary. Differences between countries with regard to regulation and enforcement of shipping discharges may drive discharges across boundaries. Tar balls are transported long distances. POPs/PTSs and mercury, including organo-mercury, undergo long-range transport. Sedimentation and most heavy metal contamination tend to be localized and lack a strong transboundary dimension. The main causes of the issues are: increasing coastal population density and urbanization; higher consumption, resulting in more waste generated per person; insufficient funds allocated to waste management; migration of industry into BOBLME countries; and proliferation of small industries.

History

Ross Island, in the Andamans, was one of the main naval bases of British India during World War II Andaman ross is.jpg
Ross Island, in the Andamans, was one of the main naval bases of British India during World War II

Northern Circars occupied the western coast of the Bay of Bengal and is now considered to be India's Madras state. Chola dynasty (9th century to 12th century) when ruled by Rajaraja Chola I occupied the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal circa AD 1014, The Bay of Bengal was also called the Chola Lake. The Kakatiya dynasty reached the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal between the Godavari and the Krishna rivers. Kushanas about the middle of the 1st century AD invaded northern India perhaps extending as far as the Bay of Bengal. Chandragupta Maurya extended the Maurya Dynasty across northern India to the Bay of Bengal. Hajipur was a stronghold for Portuguese Pirates. In the 16th century the Portuguese built trading posts in the north of the Bay of Bengal at Chittagong (Porto Grande) and Satgaon (Porto Pequeno). [47]

British penal colony

Cellular Jail or "Black Waters" built in 1896 on Ross Island, a part of the Andaman Island Chain. As early as 1858 this island was used as a British penal colony for political prisoners facing life imprisonment. [48] [ better source needed ]

Marine archaeology

Maritime archaeology or marine archaeology is the study of material remains of ancient peoples. A specialized branch, Archaeology of shipwrecks studies the salvaged artifacts of ancient ships. Stone anchors, amphorae shards, elephant tusks, hippopotamus teeth, ceramic pottery, a rare wood mast and lead ingots are examples which may survive the test of time for archaeologists to study and place the salvaged findings into a time line of history. coral reefs, tsunamis, cyclones, mangrove swamps, battles and a criss cross of sea routes in a high trading area combined with pirating have all contributed to shipwrecks in the Bay of Bengal. [49]

Famous ships and shipwrecks

Related Research Articles

Geography of India geography of the country of India

India lies on the Indian Plate, the northern part of the Indo-Australian Plate, whose continental crust forms the Indian subcontinent. The country is situated north of the equator between 8°4' north to 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' to 97°25' east longitude. It is the seventh-largest country in the world, with a total area of 3,287,263 square kilometres (1,269,219 sq mi). India measures 3,214 km (1,997 mi) from north to south and 2,933 km (1,822 mi) from east to west. It has a land frontier of 15,200 km (9,445 mi) and a coastline of 7,516.6 km (4,671 mi).

Andaman Sea Marginal sea of the eastern Indian Ocean

The Andaman Sea is a marginal sea of northeastern Indian Ocean bounded by the coastlines of Myanmar and Thailand along the Gulf of Martaban and west side of the Malay Peninsula, and separated from the Bay of Bengal to its west by the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands. Its southernmost end is defined by Breueh Island, an island just north of Sumatra, and communicates with the Malacca Strait.

Geography of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a densely-populated, low-lying, mainly riverine country located in South Asia with a coastline of 580 km (360 mi) on the northern littoral of the Bay of Bengal. The delta plain of the Ganges (Padma), Brahmaputra (Jamuna), and Meghna Rivers and their tributaries occupy 79 percent of the country. Four uplifted blocks occupy 9 percent, and steep hill ranges up to approximately 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) high occupy 12 percent in the southeast and in the northeast. Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate characterised by heavy seasonal rainfall, high temperatures, and high humidity. Natural disasters such as floods and cyclones accompanied by storm surges periodically affect the country. Most of the country is intensively farmed, with rice the main crop, grown in three seasons. Rapid urbanisation is taking place with associated industrial and commercial development. Exports of garments and shrimp plus remittances from Bangladeshis working abroad provide the country's three main sources of foreign exchange income.

Ritchies Archipelago archipelago in India

Ritchie's Archipelago is a cluster of smaller islands which lie 20 km (12 mi) east of Great Andaman, the main island group of the Andaman Islands. The Islands belong to the South Andaman administrative district, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

1991 Bangladesh cyclone North Indian cyclone in 1991

The 1991 Bangladesh cyclone was among the deadliest tropical cyclones on record. Forming out of a large area of convection over the Bay of Bengal on April 24, the tropical cyclone initially developed gradually while meandering over the southern Bay of Bengal. On April 28, the storm began to accelerate northeastwards under the influence of the southwesterlies, and rapidly intensified to super cyclonic storm strength near the coast of Bangladesh on April 29. After making landfall in the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 250 km/h (155 mph), the cyclone rapidly weakened as it moved through northeastern India, and degenerated into a remnant low over the Yunnan province in western China.

The years before 1975 featured the pre-1975 North Indian Ocean cyclone seasons. Each season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. The North Indian tropical cyclone season has no bounds, but they tend to form between April and December, peaks in May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean. Below are the most significant cyclones in the time period. Because much of the North Indian coastline is near sea level and prone to flooding, these cyclones can easily kill many with storm surge and flooding. These cyclones are among the deadliest on earth in terms of numbers killed.

The Bengal Fan, also known as the Ganges Fan, is the largest submarine fan on Earth. The fan is about 3,000 km (1,900 mi) long, 1,430 km (890 mi) wide with a maximum thickness of 16.5 km (10.3 mi). The fan resulted from the uplift and erosion of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau produced by the collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Most of the sediment is supplied by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers which supply the Lower Meghna delta in Bangladesh and the Hoogly delta in West Bengal (India). Several other large rivers in Bangladesh and India provide smaller contributions. Turbidity currents have transported the sediment through a series of submarine canyons, some of which are more than 1,500 miles (2,414 km) in length, to be deposited in the Bay of Bengal up to 30 degrees latitude from where it began. To date, the oldest sediments recovered from the Bengal fan are from Early Miocene age. Their mineralogical and geochemical characteristics allow to identify their Himalayan origin and demonstrate that the Himalaya was already a major mountain range 20 million years ago.

2006 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 2006 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but cyclones tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean.

Cyclone Mala North Indian cyclone in 2006

Cyclone Mala was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 2006 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. In mid-April 2006, an area of disturbed weather formed over the southern Bay of Bengal and nearby Andaman Sea. Over a period of several days, the system became increasingly organized and was classified as a depression on April 24. Situated within a region of weak steering currents, the storm slowly intensified as it drifted in a general northward direction. It attained gale-force winds and was named Mala the next day. Conditions for strengthening improved markedly on April 27 and Mala subsequently underwent rapid intensification which culminated in the cyclone attaining its peak. Early on April 28, the cyclone had estimated winds of 185 km/h (115 mph). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center considered Mala to have been slightly stronger, classifying it as a Category 4-equivalent cyclone. Steady weakening ensued thereafter and the storm made landfall in Myanmar's Rakhine State on April 29. Rapid dissipation took place once onshore and Mala was last noted early the next morning.

2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was at the time, the most active North Indian Ocean cyclone season on record until surpassed in 2019. The North Indian Ocean cyclone season has no official bounds, but cyclones tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean.

Lohachara Island island in West Bengal, India

Lohachara Island was an islet which was permanently flooded in the 1980s. It was located in the Hooghly River as part of the Sundarban delta in the Sundarban National Park, located near the Indian state of West Bengal. The definite disappearance of the island was reported by Indian researchers in December 2006, which led to international press coverage. No specific study was ever done to prove that the island was permanently inundated because of sea level rise.

1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season had no bounds, but tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. The 1970 season saw a total of seven cyclonic storms, of which three developed into severe cyclonic storms. The Bay of Bengal was more active than the Arabian Sea during 1970, with all of the three severe cyclonic storms in the season forming there. Unusually, none of the storms in the Arabian Sea made landfall this year. The most significant storm of the season was the Bhola cyclone, which formed in the Bay of Bengal and hit Bangladesh on November 12. The storm killed at least 500,000, making it the deadliest tropical cyclone in recorded history.

Cyclone Akash North Indian cyclone in 2007

Cyclone Akash was the first named tropical cyclone of the 2007 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Warned by both India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), it formed from an area of disturbed weather on the Bay of Bengal on May 12, and gradually organized as it drifted northward. An eye began to develop as it approached land, and after reaching peak 3-min sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) it struck about 115 km (70 mi) south of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Akash rapidly weakened over land, and advisories were discontinued on May 15.

2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 2002 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was a below active season in terms of tropical cyclone formation. The season had no official bounds, but most storms formed in either May or after October. No depressions or storms formed during the monsoon season from July to September, the first such instance on record. There are two main seas in the North Indian Ocean – the Bay of Bengal to the east of the Indian subcontinent – and the Arabian Sea to the west of India. The official Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in this basin is the India Meteorological Department (IMD), while the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) releases unofficial advisories. An average of four to six storms form in the North Indian Ocean every season with peaks in May and November. Cyclones occurring between the meridians 45°E and 100°E are included in the season by the IMD.

2000 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 2000 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was fairly quiet compared to its predecessor, with all of the activity originating in the Bay of Bengal. The basin comprises the Indian Ocean north of the equator, with warnings issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi. There were six depressions throughout the year, of which five intensified into cyclonic storms – tropical cyclones with winds of 65 mph (40 km/h) sustained over 3 minutes. Two of the storms strengthened into a very severe cyclonic storm, which has winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph), equivalent to a minimal hurricane. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) also tracked storms in the basin on an unofficial basis, estimating winds sustained over 1 minute.

2013 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian ocean

The 2013 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation, in which tropical cyclones formed in the North Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The season had no official bounds, but cyclones typically formed between May and December, with the peak from October to November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean.

2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season cyclone season in the North Indian Ocean

The 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season was a below average season in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. This season produced only three named storms, of which one only intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm. The North Indian Ocean cyclone season has no official bounds but cyclones tend to form between April and December with the two peaks in May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northern Indian Ocean. The season began with the formation Cyclone Maarutha on April 15 and ended with the dissipation of a deep depression on December 9.

Cyclone Vardah North Indian cyclone in 2016

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vardah was the fourth cyclonic storm, as well as the most intense tropical cyclone of the 2016 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The system struck the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as South India, before later affecting Somalia.

Cyclone Maarutha North Indian cyclone in 2017

Cyclone Maarutha was the first tropical cyclone of the 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. It was a relatively short-lived and weak system, but it was the first to make landfall in Myanmar in April. Although a weak system, it caused notable damage in Myanmar. Maarutha formed from an area of low pressure over the southern Bay of Bengal on April 15. The next morning, RSMC New Delhi upgraded the low pressure area to a Depression and designated it as BOB 01.

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Further reading

Wiktionary-logo-en-v2.svg The dictionary definition of Bay of Bengal at Wiktionary Commons-logo.svg Media related to Bay of Bengal at Wikimedia Commons