Ashmore and Cartier Islands: Background & Geography

Introduction Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Background:
These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, is now a marine reserve.
Geography Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Location:
Southeastern Asia, islands in the Indian Ocean, midway between north-western Australia and Timor island
Geographic coordinates:
12 14 S, 123 05 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
Area:
total: 5 sq km
note: includes Ashmore Reef (West, Middle, and East Islets) and Cartier Island
water: 0 sq km
land: 5 sq km
Area - comparative:
about eight times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
74.1 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
contiguous zone: 12 NM
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
tropical
Terrain:
low with sand and coral
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m
Natural resources:
fish
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (all grass and sand) (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards
Environment - current issues:
NA
Geography - note:
Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve established in August 1983

See Also: