A Deep Sea waterway

21 Dec 2010

At http://geology.com/noaa/sulawesi-sea/ .... this is an interesting piece of reseach as the Sulwesi Sea even during the Ice Age was a water-way and a barrier between Sunda Land, the part of Indonesia to the west that was joined up with SE Asia, and the large landmass that comprised Australia (somewhat larger than it is now) and New Guinea - and possibly the Solomon Islands too. A joint American and Indonesian science exploration of the Sulawesi Sea has found submarine volcanoes and a large hydrothermal field with a thriving exotic animal system. The Sulawesi Sea is deep - and as such it contains deep sea animals. However, what is now the Sulawesi Sea also comprises shallow sea regions that were once part of the two above land masses. Whereas one of the volcanoes rises some 12,000 feet from the sea floor, in contrast, in the shallow seas can be found many species of corals. The deep rift in the Sulawesi Sea has developed into an important element of the ocean circulation system. It is a 'through-flow' system that is part of the distribution route of heat transported by ocean currents from the equator towards the cooler Southern Ocean.