South China Sea Islands

The South China Sea Islands consist of over 250 islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs, and sandbars in the South China Sea, none of which have indigenous people, few of which have any natural water supply, many of which are naturally under water at high tide, while others are permanently submerged.

The features are grouped into three archipelagos, plus the Macclesfield Bank and Scarborough Shoal. Collectively they have a total land surface area of less than 15 km2 at low tide:

The islands are located on a shallow continental shelf with an average depth of 200 metres. However, in the Spratlys, the sea floor drastically changes its depth, and near the Philippines, the Palawan Trough is more than 5,000 metres deep. Also, there are some parts that are so shallow that navigation becomes difficult and prone to accidents.

The sea floor contains Paleozoic and Mesozoic granite and metamorphic rocks. The abysses are caused by the formation of the Himalayas in the Cenozoic.

Except one volcanic island, the islands are made of coral reefs of varying ages and formations.

These islands listed here compose the South China Sea Islands ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome. Other islands in the South China Sea are not biogeographically included.

This page was last edited on 25 May 2018, at 11:16 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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