Arabian Sea

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Arabian Sea,

ancient Mare Erythraeum, northwest part of the Indian Ocean, lying between Arabia and India. The Gulf of Aden, extended by the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Oman, extended by the Persian Gulf, are its principal arms. The submarine Carlsberg ridge, SE of Socotra Island, is the sea's southern boundary. The Indus River is the largest stream flowing into the sea. The Arabian Sea has long been an important trade route between India and the West; its chief ports are Aden, Yemen; Karachi, Pakistan; and Mumbai, India.

Arabian Sea


a semilandlocked sea of the Indian Ocean, between the Arabian Peninsula on the west and Industan on the east. The sea is 3,683,000 sq km in area and 2,734 m deep. The average volume is 10,070,000 cubic km and 5,203 m at its greatest depth. The large Indus River flows into the Arabian Sea. The shores are high, rocky, and in places have low deltas; they are broken by bays and gulfs. The larger gulfs are the Gulf of Aden on the west (connected by the straits of Bab el Mandeb with the Red Sea), the Gulf of Oman in the northwest (connected by the Strait of Hormuz with the Persian Gulf), and the gulfs of Kutch and Cambay in the northwest. There are few islands, all of them located offshore. The largest are the Socotra and Laccadive islands. The surface of the sea bottom is even and has a general incline running from north to south. The bottom is composed of biogenic silt—sediments of terranean origin at the shores of the continent and coral sand at the coral islands.

The climate of the Arabian Sea is monsoonal. In winter northeasterly winds, which bring clear, cold weather, predominate; in summer southwesterly winds predominate, followed by cloudy, humid weather. In spring, summer, and fall typhoons are frequent. In winter the temperature is 20–25°C; in summer it is 25–29°C. The annual precipitation is 23–125 mm in the west and as much as 3,100 mm in the east, with the maximum during the summer months. The surface currents are westerly in the winter and easterly in the summer. In winter the surface water temperature is 22–27°C; in summer it is 23–28°C, with a maximum of 29°C in May. The salinity is 35.8–36.5 parts per thou. Tides are irregular and semidiurnal; they are 5.1 m in height. Under the influence of the deep waters of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the water temperature of the Arabian Sea is above 5°C and the salinity exceeds 35 parts per thou up to a depth of 1,500 m. Animal life includes liugon’, flying fish, tuna, swordfish, southern herring, shoal fish, and sailfish. The main harbors are Colombo, Bombay, Karachi, and Aden.


Muromtsev, A. M. Osnovnye cherty gidrologii Indiiskogo okeana. Leningrad, 1959.
Wooster, W. S., M. B. Schaefer, and M. K. Robinson. Atlas of the Arabian Sea for Fishery Oceanography. La Jolla, 1967.


Arabian Sea

the NW part of the Indian Ocean, between Arabia and India