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Bass Strait

The Bass Strait is the sea strait that separates the Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria.

The extent of the Bass Strait as described by the International Hydrographic Organization is that it is 240 Km wide and 50 Meters deep.

Bass Strait Facts for Kids

  • It is in the Southern- Eastern Australia
  • It is generally shallow
  • It is located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans
  • Measure approximately 240 km wide and 50 Km in-depth in its narrowest point
  • Its fullest part is the point between point Hicks and Cape Portland being about 217 miles
  • The maximum depth is at 509 feet and is between Finders and Inner Sister islands
  • The widest opening is approximately 350 Km
  • It has a shallow depression at its center that measures about 259miles narrow by 75 miles wide
  • Its basement is made up of two plateaus
  • The plateaus separate the Bass basin and the adjacent ocean basins
  • The Bass Strait is named after a British explorer named George Bass who first explored it in the company of Mathew Flinders. This was between the years of 1789 and 1799. The strait’s original name was not the Bass Strait but Bass’s Strait.
  • The Bass Strait is regularly used by sailing vessels. The regular sailing vessels along the strait include the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the annual Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race.
  • Domestic sea transport is serviced by two passenger and Vehicle ferries that cross between the Devonport and the Melbourne’s station pier each day. However, it has been said that the fastest and cheapest mode of transport across the Bass Strait is not by sea but by air. To this end, the strait gets covered by significant airports such as the Hobart International Airport and Launceston Airport in Tasmania.

Biodiversity

The Bass Strait is the home to some of the rarest species of marine and wildlife. Also, the Bass Strait is abundant in some of the world’s most expensive natural resources. These include natural gas and oil. These oil and gas fields were not discovered at the straits’ discovery but were only discovered in the 1960s; several years later. The oil and gas fields are located on the Eastern section of the strait.

Economic Value

The economic value along the strait is drawn from its numerous oil and gas fields. It is reported that more than four billion barrels of Crude oil and almost eight trillion cubic feet of gas have since been produced since its inception.

Future oil production is expected to be even higher. The airlines in Bass strait offer significant support to the oil and gas operations on the strait.

The Bass Strait is equally captivating due to the many islands surrounding it and therefore attracts several tourists. Specifically, Bass Strait contains more than 50 islands.

These islands include the Robbins Island, the Deal island Hunter Island, the Kent Group of islands the three Hummock Island among others.

The strait records some of the roughest waves. This is because the strait experiences strong currents coming from the waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Sadly, the Bass Strait has reported several incidences of ships and vessels vanishing never to be seen again.

These incidences have however significantly reduced with the building of a lighthouse on the Deal Island. The Deal Island is located on the North-Eastern part of the island. The lighthouse has helped reduced the vanishing of ships because now ships can see in the Eastern Region of Bass Strait as they approach it.

Questions
1. Name five islands found in the Bass Strait?
2. What natural resources are located on the Bass Strait?
3. What makes the Bait Strait experience arguably the roughest waves?

Answers
1. Deal Island, finders, inner sister Island Groups, King Island and Hunter Island
2. Oil fields, gas fields, marine, and wildlife
3. This is due to the strong currents that come from the Indian and Pacific waters thus creating powerful storms