Location of the Molucca Sea within Southeast Asia
|Part of||Pacific Ocean|
|Max. depth||4,810 m (15,781 ft)|
The Moluccan Sea (Indonesian: Laut Maluku) is located in the western Pacific Ocean, around the vicinity of Indonesia, specifically bordered by the Indonesian Islands of Celebes (Sulawesi) to the west, Halmahera to the east, and the Sula Islands to the south. The Molucca Sea has a total surface area of 77,000 square miles (200,000 square km). The Molucca Sea is rich in coral and has many diving sites due to the deepness of its waters. The deepness of the water explains the reasoning behind dividing the sea into three zones, which functions to transport water from the Pacific Ocean to the shallower seas surrounding it. The deepest hollow in the Molucca Sea is the 15,780-foot (4,810-meter) Batjan (Indonesian: Bacan) basin. This region is known for its periodic experiences of earthquakes, which stems from the sea itself being a micro plate, in which the Molucca Sea is being subducted in two opposite directions: one in the direction of the Eurasian Plate to the west and the other in the direction of the Philippines Sea Plate to the east.
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. It is a standardized register of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Of its large population, the majority speak Indonesian, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, is an island in Indonesia. One of the four Greater Sunda Islands, and the world's eleventh-largest island, it is situated east of Borneo, west of the Maluku Islands, and south of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Within Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger populations.
The Molucca Sea borders the Banda Sea to the south and the Celebes Sea to the west. To the north is Philippine Sea and to the east is Halmahera Sea.
The Banda Sea is a sea in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, connected to the Pacific Ocean but surrounded by hundreds of islands, as well as the Halmahera and Ceram Seas. It is about 1000 km (600 mi) east to west, and about 500 km (300 mi) north to south.
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi's Minahassa Peninsula, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia. It extends 420 miles (675 km) north-south by 520 mi (840 km) east-west and has a total surface area of 110,000 square miles (280,000 km2), to a maximum depth of 20,300 feet (6,200 m). The sea opens southwest through the Makassar Strait into the Java Sea.
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and northeast of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 5 million square kilometres. The Philippine Sea Plate forms the floor of the sea, which forms a portion of the western North Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Philippine archipelago on the southwest; Halmahera, Morotai, Palau, Yap, and Ulithi on the southeast; the Marianas, including Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, on the east; the Bonin and Iwo Jima on the northeast; the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū on the north; the Ryukyu Islands on the northwest; and Taiwan in the west.
The islands bordering the Moluccan Sea include Halmahera to the north east, Buru and Ceram in the centre, and Sulawesi to the west. The Talaud Islands to the north are considered to be the northern border the sea, though the Molucca Sea Plate, the tectonic plate named after the sea, extends further north.
Halmahera, formerly known as Jilolo, Gilolo, or Jailolo, is the largest island in the Maluku Islands. It is part of the North Maluku province of Indonesia and Sofifi, the capital of the province, is located on the west coast of the island.
Buru is the third largest island within Maluku Islands of Indonesia. It lies between the Banda Sea to the south and Seram Sea to the north, west of Ambon and Seram islands. The island belongs to Maluku province and includes the Buru and South Buru regencies. Their administrative centers, Namlea and Namrole, respectively, have ports and the largest towns of the island. There is a military airport at Namlea which supports civilian cargo transportation.
Seram is the largest and main island of Maluku province of Indonesia, despite Ambon Island's historical importance. It is located just north of smaller Ambon Island and a few other surrounding islands, such as Haruku, Geser, Nusalaut, Banda and Saparua.
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) defines the "Molukka Sea"[ sic ] as being one of the waters of the East Indian Archipelago. The IHO defines its limits as follows:
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is the inter-governmental organisation representing hydrography.
The Latin adverb sic inserted after a quoted word or passage indicates that the quoted matter has been transcribed or translated exactly as found in the source text, complete with any erroneous, archaic, or otherwise nonstandard spelling. It also applies to any surprising assertion, faulty reasoning, or other matter that might be likely interpreted as an error of transcription.
The East Indian Archipelago (Indonesia) is an area designated by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). It encompasses twelve seas, two gulfs, and one strait in the East Indies.
On the North. By a line from the Northeast extreme of Celebes [ Sulawesi ] through the Siau Islands to the South point of Sangi ( ) thence to the Southern extreme of the Talaud Group, through these islands to their Northeastern extreme ( ) and thence a line to Tanjong Sopi, the Northern point of Morotai Island.
Siau is an island in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, located in the Sangir Archipelago approximately 130 km (81 mi) off the northern tip of Sulawesi in the Celebes Sea. It is the main island of the Sitaro Islands Regency of North Sulawesi Province.
Sangir Besar, commonly called Sangir Island, is an island in the Sangir Islands group. Its Indonesian name literally means "Great Sangir", in reference to the fact that it is the archipelago's main island. It is part of the North Sulawesi province. The main language is the Sangir language.
Talaud Islands is a group of islands located north of Sulawesi island in Indonesia, north-east of the Sangihe Islands. The Talaud Islands are also the northernmost region of Eastern Indonesia, bordering south of the Philippines' Davao Region. The group, with a total area of 495 square miles, includes Karakelong, Salebabu, Kaburuang, and numerous islets. The coast of Karakelong Island is steep except on the southern shore, which is fringed by a wide reef. The seven tiny Nanusa Islands lie north-east of Karakelong. They are forested and with hills rising to 2,231 feet.
On the East. By the West coast of Morotai from Tanjong Sopi as far south as Wajaboela (), thence a line to the Northern point of Halmahera and down its West coast to Tanjong Libolo, its Southern extreme.
On the South. A line from the Southern extreme of Halmahera to the North point of Bisa (Setile) Island, thence to the Northern extreme of Obi Major, through this island to Tanjong Ake Lamo, its Southwestern point, thence to Tanjong Dehekolano, the Eastern extremity of the Soela [ Sula ] Islands, along their Northern coasts to Tanjong Marikasoe, the Western extreme, thence a line to the Southeast point of Banggai Island ( ).
On the West. The East coasts of Banggai and Peleng Islands to North Bangkalan () thence a line to Tg. Botok (Celebes) ( ) round the coast to Tg. Pasir Pandjang ( ) and across to Tg. Tombalilatoe ( ) on the opposite coast, thence up the East coast to Tg. Poeisan, the Northeastern extreme of Celebes.
The Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Spanish Empires fought each other for control of the spice islands that can only be accessed through the Moluccan Sea.
January 6, 2019, measuring 7.0, with no tsunamis resulting.
The sea is a very seismically active area due to the Molucca Sea Plate.
The Sulu Sea is a body of water in the southwestern area of the Philippines, separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by Palawan and from the Celebes Sea in the southeast by the Sulu Archipelago. Borneo is found to the southwest and Visayas to the northeast.
The Java Sea is an extensive shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south, Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east. Karimata Strait to its northwest links it to the South China Sea.
Makassar Strait is a strait between the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi in Indonesia. To the north it joins the Celebes Sea, while to the south it meets the Java Sea. The Mahakam River of Borneo empties into the strait.
The Savu Sea is a small sea within Indonesia named for the island of Savu (Sawu) on its southern boundary. It is bounded by Savu and Rai Jua to the south, the islands of Rote and Timor to the east, Flores and the Alor archipelago to the north/northwest, and the island of Sumba to the west/northwest. Between these islands, it flows into the Indian Ocean to the south and west, the Flores Sea to the north, and the Banda Sea to the northeast.
Halmahera Sea is a regional sea located in the central eastern part of the Australasian Mediterranean Sea. It is centered at about 1°S and 129°E and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the north, Halmahera to the west, Waigeo and Irian Jaya to the east, and the Seram Sea to the south. It covers about 95,000 km and its topography comprises a number of separate basins and ridges, the chief of which is the Halmahera Basin reaching a depth of 2039 m.
The Arafura Sea lies west of the Pacific Ocean, overlying the continental shelf between Australia and Indonesian New Guinea.
The Flores Sea covers 240,000 square kilometres (93,000 sq mi) of water in Indonesia. The sea is bounded on the north by the island of Celebes and on the south by Sunda Islands of Flores and Sumbawa.
The Gulf of Tomini, also known as the Bay of Tomini, is the equatorial gulf which separates the Minahassa (Northern) and East Peninsulas of the island of Sulawesi (Celebes) in Indonesia. The Togian Islands lie near its center. To the east, it opens onto the Molukka Sea.
The Sangihe Islands – Indonesian: Kepulauan Sangihe – are a group of islands which constitute two regencies within the province of North Sulawesi, in northern Indonesia, the Sangihe Islands Regency and the Sitaro Islands Regency. They are located north-east of Sulawesi between the Celebes Sea and the Molucca Sea, roughly halfway between Sulawesi and Mindanao, in the Philippines; the Sangihes form the eastern limit of the Celebes Sea. The islands combine to total 813 square kilometres, with many of the islands being actively volcanic with fertile soil and mountains.
The Ceram Sea or Seram Sea is one of several small seas between the scattered islands of Indonesia. It is a section of the Pacific Ocean with an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometers located between Buru and Seram, which are two of the islands once called the South Moluccas. These islands are the native habitat of plants long coveted for their use as spices, such as nutmeg, cloves, and black peppercorns, and the seas surrounding them were busy shipping routes. The Ceram Sea is also the habitat of several species of tropical goby and many other fish. Like many other small Indonesian seas, the Ceram Sea is rocky and very tectonically active.
The Bali Sea is the body of water north of the island of Bali and south of Kangean Island in Indonesia. The sea forms the south-west part of the Flores Sea, and the Madura Strait opens into it from the west.
Located in the western Pacific Ocean near Indonesia, the Molucca Sea Plate has been classified by scientists as a fully subducted microplate that is part of the Molucca Sea Collision Complex. The Molucca Sea Plate represents the only known example of divergent double subduction (DDS), which describes the subduction on both sides of a single oceanic plate.
Sorong fault also is an active, broad zone of inferred left lateral shear at the triple junction of the Australian plate, Eurasian plate, and Pacific plates, where many plate fragments exist, such as the Philippine Sea Plate, Bird's Head Plate, Halmahera Plate and the Molucca Sea Plate. It has been implicated in numerous large earthquakes. It is one of the two major faults created by the Australian and Pacific plate convergence, the other being the Ramu-Markham Fault zone.
Halmahera Plate has recently (1990s) been postulated to be a microplate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone of eastern Indonesia.
The Gulf of Boni, also known as the Bay of Boni, Bone Bay, and the Bone Gulf, is the gulf which divides the South and Southeast Peninsulas of the island of Sulawesi (Celebes) in Indonesia. It opens on the south into the Flores Sea.
The Halmahera naked-backed fruit bat is a common and widespread species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae. It is endemic to Indonesia.
Bajaw is the language of the Bajaw 'Sea Gypsies' of Maritime Southeast Asia. Differences exist between the language's varieties in western Sabah, Cagayan in the southern Philippines, eastern Sabah, and Sulawesi/Maluku, but it is not clear how many languages these would be based on mutual intelligibility.