Tasman Sea
Overview
 
The Tasman Sea is the large body of water between Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, approximately 2000 kilometres (1,242.7 mi) across. It extends 2,800 km (approx.) from north to south. It is a south-western segment of the South Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, the first recorded European to encounter New Zealand and Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

.
Encyclopedia
The Tasman Sea is the large body of water between Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, approximately 2000 kilometres (1,242.7 mi) across. It extends 2,800 km (approx.) from north to south. It is a south-western segment of the South Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The sea was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, the first recorded European to encounter New Zealand and Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

. The British explorer Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 later extensively navigated the Tasman Sea in the 1770s as part of his first voyage of exploration.

The Tasman Sea is commonly referred to in both Australia and New Zealand as The Ditch; for example, crossing the ditch means going to Australia from New Zealand or vice versa. In Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

, the Tasman Sea is called Te Tai-o-Rehua.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 defines the limits of the Tasman Sea as follows:

Ridge

The Tasman Sea's mid-ocean ridge
Mid-ocean ridge
A mid-ocean ridge is a general term for an underwater mountain system that consists of various mountain ranges , typically having a valley known as a rift running along its spine, formed by plate tectonics. This type of oceanic ridge is characteristic of what is known as an oceanic spreading...

 developed between 85 and 55 million years ago as Australia and Zealandia
Zealandia (continent)
Zealandia , also known as Tasmantis or the New Zealand continent, is a nearly submerged continental fragment that sank after breaking away from Australia 60–85 million years ago, having separated from Antarctica between 85 and 130 million years ago...

 broke apart during the breakup of supercontinent
Supercontinent
In geology, a supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia qualifies as a supercontinent today.-History:...

 Gondwana
Gondwana
In paleogeography, Gondwana , originally Gondwanaland, was the southernmost of two supercontinents that later became parts of the Pangaea supercontinent. It existed from approximately 510 to 180 million years ago . Gondwana is believed to have sutured between ca. 570 and 510 Mya,...

. It lies roughly midway between the continental margins of Australia and Zealandia. Much of Zealandia is submerged, so the ridge runs much closer to the Australian coast than New Zealand's.

Islands

The Tasman Sea features a number of mid-sea island groups, quite apart from coastal islands located near the Australian and New Zealand mainlands:
  • Lord Howe Island
    Lord Howe Island
    Lord Howe Island is an irregularly crescent-shaped volcanic remnant in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, directly east of mainland Port Macquarie, and about from Norfolk Island. The island is about 11 km long and between 2.8 km and 0.6 km wide with an area of...

     (part of New South Wales)
  • Ball's Pyramid
    Ball's Pyramid
    Ball's Pyramid is an erosional remnant of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 7 million years ago. Ball's Pyramid is southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is high, while measuring only in length and across, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world...

     (part of New South Wales)
  • Norfolk Island
    Norfolk Island
    Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance...

    , in the extreme north of the Tasman Sea, on the border with the Coral Sea
    Coral Sea
    The Coral Sea is a marginal sea off the northeast coast of Australia. It is bounded in the west by the east coast of Queensland, thereby including the Great Barrier Reef, in the east by Vanuatu and by New Caledonia, and in the north approximately by the southern extremity of the Solomon Islands...

     (External Territory)
  • Middleton Reef
    Middleton Reef
    Middleton Reef is a coral reef in the Tasman Sea. It is separated by a deep oceanic pass some 45 km wide from nearby Elizabeth Reef, forming part of the Lord Howe Rise underwater plateau. Middleton Reef is around 220 km from Lord Howe Island and 555 km from the coast of New South...

     (part of Coral Sea Islands Territory)
  • Elizabeth Reef
    Elizabeth Reef
    Elizabeth Reef is a coral reef in the Tasman Sea. The reef is separated by a deep oceanic pass, some 45 km wide, from nearby Middleton Reef, both of which are part of the underwater plateau known as the Lord Howe Rise. Elizabeth Reef is around 160 km from Lord Howe Island and...

     (part of Coral Sea Islands Territory)

History

Moncrieff and Hood
Moncrieff and Hood
Lieutenant John Moncrieff and Captain George Hood were two New Zealanders who vanished on 10 January 1928 while attempting the first trans-Tasman flight from Australia to New Zealand...

 were the first to attempt to a Trans-Tasman
Trans-Tasman
Trans-Tasman is an adjective used primarily in Australia and New Zealand, which signifies an interrelationship between both countries. Its name originates from the Tasman Sea which lies between the two countries...

 crossing by plane in 1928. The first successful flight over the sea was accomplished by Charles Kingsford Smith
Charles Kingsford Smith
Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith MC, AFC , often called by his nickname Smithy, was an early Australian aviator. In 1928, he earned global fame when he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia...

 later that year. The first person to row solo across the sea was Colin Quincey in 1977. The next successful solo crossing was completed by his son, Shaun Quincey in 2010.

See also

  • Axis naval activity in New Zealand waters
    Axis naval activity in New Zealand waters
    A small number of Axis surface raiders and submarines operated in New Zealand Waters during World War II.-Surface raiders:The following German surface raiders operated in New Zealand waters: *Small auxiliary raider Adjutant *Tanker Ole Jacob A small number of Axis surface raiders and submarines...

  • Crossing the Ditch
    Crossing the Ditch
    Crossing the Ditch was the effort of adventurers Justin Jones and James Castrission to become the first to cross the Tasman Sea and travel from Australia to New Zealand by sea kayak....

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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