The Java Sea is a marine basin lying between the Indonesian islands of Borneo (north) and Java (south) and between Sumatra (west) and Sulawesi, formerly Celebes (east).
It connects with:
the South China Sea in the northwest through the Karimata Strait between the island of Belitung, (Billiton) east of Sumatra and Kalimantan (the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo);
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the Indian Ocean through various straits to the south, such as the Sunda Strait (between Sumatra and Java), the Bali Strait (between Java and Bali), the Lombok Strait (between Bali and Lombok) and through the Lesser sunda Islands;
the Flores Sea to the east; and,
the Celebes Sea to the northeast through the Makassar Strait
The Java Sea manifests a low salinity level, but also salinities with considerable spatial and temperal variation. In particular, the massive riverine freshwater discharges from Kalimantan, Java and Sumatra toward the end of the rainy monsoonal season contribute to this salinity depression.
The Java Sea was the site of one of the most massive battles in naval history, with the Allied Forces suffering great casualties and loss of ships, as they attempted to defend the island of Java from Japanese invasion in February and March of 1942. In the subsequent years, the Java Sea would become a major overflight zone, as the Allies used this corridor for aerial approach of waves of B24 bomber squadrons of the United States Air Force retaking Borneo and other islands that had become occupied by the Japanese. These operations were some of the earliest undertaken by the newly formed U.S.Air Force, commanded by General Frank Maxwell Andrews, after whom Andrews Air Force base was named.
- Kenneth H.Brink, Allan R.Robinson. 2005. Global Coastal Ocean, the: Regional Studies and Syntheses. Harvard University Press. 1090 pages
- Nina Epton. 1955. The islands of Indonesia. London, Pitman
- Jeroen Touwen, (editor) 2001. Shipping and trade in the Java Sea region, 1870-1940 : a collection of statistics on the major Java Sea ports ISBN 9067181625
- F.C.van Oosten. 1976. The Battle of the Java Sea Publisher: London : I. Allen. ISBN 0711006156