The Bali Sea is a 17,000 square mile water body that is part of Indonesia's territorial waters. Some of the islands that are situated near the Bali Sea include the island of Bali which is situated to the south of the sea and the Kangean Islands which is located on the northern edge of the sea. The Bali Sea borders the Flores Sea to the east and oceanographers sometimes consider the Bali Sea as part of the Flores Sea due to the proximity. At its deepest point, the Bali Sea is about 5,217 feet deep, and it is relatively shallow in comparison to other seas such as the Flores Sea which is 16,860 feet deep.
Geography of the Bali Sea
The International Hydrographic Organization established the present-day boundaries of the Bali Sea. Despite oceanographers considering the Bali Sea and the Flores Sea as one, cartographers distinguish them on maps mainly for navigation purposes. The island of Bali separates the Bali Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. Apart from the Indian Ocean, the island of Bali also separates the Bali Sea from the Bali Strait. The Bali Sea borders the Lombok Strait which is located on the eastern side of the island of Bali.
Waters of the Bali Sea
The waters that flow within the Bali Sea are from some sources such as the Madura Strait which drains into the Bali Sea from its western edge. Water also flows from the Pacific Ocean on its way to the Indian Ocean. Water also flows from the Flores Sea to the Bali Sea. The water flowing through the Bali Sea is an important part of the Indonesian throughflow, an ocean current that has a significant impact on the world's climate. The current allows the Pacific Ocean's warm, fresh water to flow into the Indian Ocean making its waters warmer.
Wildlife in the Bali Sea
The Bali Sea provides habitat to a wide range of flora and fauna such as the clown triggerfish and the nudibranchs. Turtles are also commonly found in the sea with some of the most frequently spotted being the green turtles and sea turtles. The reef octopus also makes its home in the waters of the Bali Sea. One of the unique creatures in the Bali Sea is the hairy frogfish which was thought to be a sea monster by communities that lived around the sea.
Tsunamis in the Bali Sea
Due to its location, the Bali Sea has experienced some tsunamis and the most well-known occurred in 1815. The 1815 tsunami occurred as a result of the eruption of Mount Tomboro which volcanologists estimate was a seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. The subsequent tsunami had waves close to 13 feet high in some areas such as Sanggar. In other regions such as Besuki, the waves were smaller as they were approximately 7 feet high. Another major tsunami in the Bali Sea occurred three years later due to further volcanic activity. Tsunamis also affected the area in 1857 and 1917. The 1857 tsunami had waves that were approximately 10 feet high while the 1917 tsunami had waves approximately 6.6 feet high.
Economic Importance of the Bali Sea
The Bali Sea is mainly important due to the vast number of tourists it attracts. Tourists mainly visit the island for scuba diving and search for unique fish such as the Oriental sweetlips fish and the peacock grouper fish.