Celebes Sea

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Celebes Sea

the part of the Pacific Ocean between Sulawesi, Borneo, and Mindanao

Celebes Sea

 

an interisland sea in the Pacific Ocean, bounded by the islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi (Celebes), and Mindanao, the Sangihe Islands, and the Sulu Archipelago. The Celebes Sea has an area of 453,000 sq km and depths up to 6,220 m.

Mangrove thickets are characteristic of the low, eastern shores of Kalimantan, and the Sulu Archipelago has many coral reefs. The temperature of the surface waters throughout the year is approximately 28°C, and the salinity is approximately 34.5 parts per thousand. The temperature of the bottom waters is approximately 34.6 parts per thousand. Surface currents are formed by a current from Mindanao, which carries water into the Celebes Sea; as a result, the water level in the Celebes Sea is higher than that of the other seas of the Malay Archipelago. The surface and intermediate waters of the Pacific Ocean flow through the Celebes Sea into the Indian Ocean. The bottom sediments are light blue terrigenous mud containing a considerable admixture of volcanic material. High tide occurs twice per day and has a range of more than 3 m. The principal ports are Manado, on Sulawesi, and Tarakan, on the island of Tarakan.