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Marine Places

Solomon Sea

The Solomon Sea lies between the Solomon Islands and the island of New Guinea, with the island of New Britain to the north and the Louisiade Archipelago to the south. The area is geologically complex, forming the remains of a closing ocean basin caught between the Australian Plate moving north and the Pacific Plate moving west. The floor of the Solomon Sea appears to consist of one or two very small tectonic plates (microplates) of oceanic origin. The Solomon Sea Microplate is spreading from the area of the Pockington Trough and rotating clockwise, subducting to the north and possibly to the southwest. Volcanic activity is particularly intense off the New Georgia Islands, where the spreading ridge is being subducted: the submarine volcano Kavachi breached the surface explosively in 2002. On the other side of the sea, the tectonic upheavals have resulted in uplift of New Guinea’s Huon Peninsula, where raised coral terraces are found some distance inland.

Melanesia - Solomon Seazoom image
  • Area 278,000 square miles (720,000 square km)
  • Maximum Depth 29,300 ft (8,940 m)
  • Inflows Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea