The borders of the Indian Ocean, as delineated by the International Hydrographic Organization in 1953 included the Southern Ocean but not the marginal seas along the northern rim, but in 2000 the IHO delimited the Southern Ocean separately, which removed waters south of 60°S from the Indian Ocean, but included the northern marginal seas. Meridionally, the Indian Ocean is delimited from the Atlantic Ocean by the 20° east meridian, running south from Cape Agulhas, and from the Pacific Ocean by the meridian of 146°55’E, running south from the southernmost point of Tasmania. The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean is approximately 30° north in the Persian Gulf.
The ocean covers 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi), including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf but excluding the Southern Ocean, or 19.5% world’s oceans; its volume is 264,000,000 km3 (63,000,000 cu mi) or 19.8% of oceans volume; it has an average depth of 3,741 m (12,274 ft) and a maximum depth of 7,906 m (25,938 ft).
The ocean’s continental shelves are narrow, averaging 200 kilometres (120 mi) in width. An exception is found off Australia’s western coast, where the shelf width exceeds 1,000 kilometres (620 mi). The average depth of the ocean is 3,890 m (12,762 ft). Its deepest point is Diamantina Deep in Diamantina Trench, at 8,047 m (26,401 ft) deep; also sometimes considered is Sunda Trench, at a depth of 7,258–7,725 m (23,812–25,344 ft). North of 50° south latitude, 86% of the main basin is covered bypelagic sediments, of which more than half is globigerina ooze. The remaining 14% is layered with terrigenous sediments. Glacial outwash dominates the extreme southern latitudes.
The major choke points include Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, the Lombok Strait, the Strait of Malacca and the Palk Strait. Seas include the Gulf of Aden, Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Great Australian Bight, Laccadive Sea, Gulf of Mannar, Mozambique Channel, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea and other tributary water bodies. The Indian Ocean is artificially connected to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, which is accessible via the Red Sea.