Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem Bay of Bengal
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 34. Northeastern Indian Ocean, between India and Indo-China. Includes east coast of Sri Lanka, Andaman Sea, Strait of Malacca and northwest coast of Sumatra. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 23° N 12° N - 80° E 93° E
Location Map Bay_of_Bengal.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 3664822 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 27.8 °C Map21.gif
100 Meters Depth 22.6 °C Map22.gif
Description The Bay of Bengal is a tropical ecosystem in a monsoon belt, bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and surrounded to the north by the Asian continent, with India to the west, Bangladesh to the north, and Burma to the east. Sri Lanka is at the southwestern corner, and Malaysia is at the southeastern. Major rivers drain 200 km3 of water and introduce 12x109 tons of silt during the monsoon season (July through September in India, with similar patterns in Bangladesh and Burma), strongly influencing the dynamics of the ecosystem resulting in silting in harbors and creation of sand bars near river mouths. The surface circulation is characterized by a large cyclonic gyre, influenced by monsoon currents, surrounded by anticyclonic cells influenced by fresh water. (Dwivedi, 1993; Murty et al., 1990) Monsoon waters have a strong influence on the dynamics of the Bay, producing a warm, low-salinity, nutrient-rich, oxygen rich layer to 100 m depth, approximately 1500 km from the northern portion of the Bay where the rivers enter the sea. At depth (200m and 500 m), high salinity, low temperature, low-oxygen waters persist through the year. (Suryanarayana, 1988; Dwivedi, 1993) Upwelling is greatest in the central portion. (Suryanarayana, 1988) Small coastal subsystems include wetlands, mangroves, and backwaters, all important in productivity (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
Ecosystem Checklist Link
SeaLifeBase Literature
Species Families Species Families Reference
549 235
Palomares, Maria Lourdes D. on 02.17.94
Modified by on 11.21.22
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