The Coral Sea is a sea in the southwestern Pacific Ocean
. Its borders are Australia
, New Guinea
, and the Pacific Ocean on the east, the Solomon Islands
and Tasman Sea
on the south, the Solomon Sea
on the north, and New Caledonia
and New Hebrides
on the west. The sea covers an area of about 1,849,800 square miles and has a maximum depth of 25,134 feet in the New Hebrides Trench. In the north, the sea floor is mostly the Coral Sea Plateau and the Osprey
and Swain reefs
which define it. Still farther north if the Coral Sea Basin, and two trenches: the South Solomon Trench (24,002 feet) and the New Hebrides Trench.
Named after the coral formations that could be found in the sea, the Coral Sea is home to the Great Barrier Reef which extends down the northeast Australian coast. Since the sea has a subtropical climate, typhoons are common in the early months of the year. Some shipping lanes traverse the sea on a channel that is 200 miles south of the reef. The sea is also home to a number of fisheries and some petroleum deposits in the Gulf of Papua.
From May 7-8, 1942, the Battle of Coral Sea took place in the area southwest of the Solomon Islands. It was the first aircraft carrier fight of the Pacific War.