The Lombok Strait (Indonesian: Selat Lombok), is a strait connecting the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean, and is located between the islands of Bali and Lombok in Indonesia. The Gili Islands are on the Lombok side.
Its narrowest point is at its southern opening, with a width of about 20 km (12 miles) between the islands of Lombok and Nusa Penida, in the middle of the strait. At the northern opening, it is 40 km (25 miles) across. Its total length is about 60 km (37 miles). Because it is 250 m (820 feet) deep — much deeper than the Strait of Malacca — ships that draw too much water to pass through Malacca (so-called "post Malaccamax" vessels) often use the Lombok Strait, instead.
It is also part of the biogeographical boundary between the fauna of Indomalaya ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The boundary is known as the Wallace Line, for Alfred Russel Wallace, who first remarked upon the striking difference between animals of Indo-Malaysia from those of Australasia and how abrupt the boundary was between the two biomes.
Biologists believe it was the depth of the Lombok Strait itself that kept the animals on either side isolated from one another. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, the islands of Bali, Java and Sumatra were all connected to one another and to the mainland of Asia. They shared the Asian fauna. The Lombok Strait's deep water kept Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated from the Asian mainland. These islands were, instead, colonized by Australasian fauna.
- Susanto, R. Dwi; Leonid Mitnik; Quanan Zheng (December 2005). "Ocean Internal Waves Observed in the Lombok Strait" (PDF). Oceanography. p. 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2008.
- van Oosterzee, Penny (1997). Where Worlds Collide: the Wallace Line.
- Pleistocene Sea Level Maps
- Wallacea - a transition zone from Asia to Australia, specially rich in marine life and on land.
- Dawkins, Richard (2004). The Ancestors Tale. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-7538-1996-1. Chapter 14 - Marsupials.
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