Sea is the part of ocean adjacent to the continental margins.
Although the adjacent seas of the Pacific Ocean do not impact much on the hydrography of the oceanic basins, they cover a substantial part of its area and deserve separate discussion. All are located along the western rim of the Pacific Ocean. From the point of view of the global oceanic circulation, the most important adjacent sea is the region on either side of the equator between the islands of the Indonesian archipelago. This region is the only mediterranean sea of the Pacific Ocean and is called the Australasian Mediterranean Sea. Its influence on the hydrography of the world ocean is far greater in the Indian than in the Pacific Ocean, and a detailed discussion of this important sea is therefore postponed to Chapter 13. The remaining adjacent seas can be grouped into deep basins with and without large shelf areas, and shallow seas that form part of the continental shelf. The Japan, Coral and Tasman Seas are deep basins without large shelf areas. The circulation and hydrography of the Coral and Tasman Seas are closely related to the situation in the western South Pacific Ocean and were already covered in the last two chapters; so only the Japan Sea will be discussed here. The Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the South China Sea are also deep basins but include large shelf areas as well. The East China Sea and Yellow Sea are shallow, forming part of the continental shelf of Asia. Other continental shelf seas belonging to the Pacific Ocean are the Gulf of Thailand and the Java Sea in South-East Asia and the Timor and Arafura Seas with the Gulf of Carpentaria on the Australian shelf.