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Macclesfield Bank: Wikis


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Macclesfield Bank
Disputed islands
Other names: Zhongsha Islands
Zhongsha Qundao
Quần đảo Trung Sa
Central Sand Islands
Schina sea 88.png
South China Sea with Macclesfield Bank
Location South China Sea
Coordinates 16°00′N 114°30′E / 16°N 114.5°E / 16; 114.5 (South China Sea Islands center)Coordinates: 16°00′N 114°30′E / 16°N 114.5°E / 16; 114.5 (South China Sea Islands center)
Total islands 0
Major islands none
Area 6,448 square kilometres (2,490 sq mi)
Length about 130 kilometres (81 mi)
Width about 70 kilometres (43 mi)
Highest point unnamed point below sea level
-9.2 metres (−30 ft)
Administered by
Province Zambales
Claimed by
Province Zambales
 People's Republic of China
County Paracels, Spratlys, and Zhongsha Islands Authority, Hainan
Population none
Macclesfield Bank

Macclesfield Bank or Zhongsha Islands (Chinese 中沙群島 Pinyin: Zhongsha Qundao; Vietnamese: Quần đảo Trung Sa, literally Central Sand Islands) is an elongated sunken atoll of underwater reefs and shoals in South China Sea and part of the disputed South China Sea Islands, centered around 16°00′N 114°30′E / 16°N 114.5°E / 16; 114.5 (South China Sea Islands center), east of the Paracel Islands. Its length exceeds 130 km (81 mi) southwest-northeast, with a maximal width of more than 70 km (43 mi). With an area of 6,448 km2 (2,490 sq mi) within the outer rim of the reef [1], although completely submerged without any emergent cays or islets, it is one of the largest atolls of the world.

The broken coral reef rim of Macclesfield Bank, with a width of up to 8 km (5 mi), has depths of 11.8 m (39 ft) at Pygmy Shoal on the northeast end of the bank and depths of 11.6 to 18 m (59 ft) elsewhere. Within the lagoon, Walker Shoal marks the least known depth of 9.2 meters. In general, the central lagoon is very deep, with depths up to 100 meters [2].

Macclesfield Bank is claimed by the People's Republic of China , Republic of China (Taiwan) and Philippines. It is located east of the Paracel Islands, distantly southwest of the Pratas Islands and north of the Spratly Islands.

There are no military stations there. It is a rich fishing ground and difficult to navigate due to the shallow submerged reefs.

The elongated atoll consists of:

Siamese Shoal Simen Ansha 西門暗沙 15°58′N 114°03′E / 15.967°N 114.05°E / 15.967; 114.05 (Siamese Shoal)
Bankok Shoal Bengu Ansha 本固暗沙 16°00′N 114°06′E / 16°N 114.1°E / 16; 114.1 (Bankok Shoal)
Magpie Shoal Meibin Ansha 美濱暗沙 16°03′N 114°13′E / 16.05°N 114.217°E / 16.05; 114.217 (Magpie Shoal)
Carpenter Shoal Luban Ansha 魯班暗沙 16°04′N 114°18′E / 16.067°N 114.3°E / 16.067; 114.3 (Carpenter Shoal)
Oliver Shoal Lifu Ansha 立夫暗沙 15°57′N 115°24′E / 15.95°N 115.4°E / 15.95; 115.4 (Oliver Shoal)
Pigmy (Pygmy) Shoal Biwei Ansha 比微暗沙 16°13′N 114°44′E / 16.217°N 114.733°E / 16.217; 114.733 (Pigmy Shoal)
Engeria (Egeria) Bank Yinji Ansha 隱磯灘 16°03′N 114°56′E / 16.05°N 114.933°E / 16.05; 114.933 (Engeria Bank)
Howard Shoal Wuyong Ansha 武勇暗沙 15°52′N 114°47′E / 15.867°N 114.783°E / 15.867; 114.783 (Howard Shoal)
Learmonth Shoal Jimeng Ansha 濟猛暗沙 15°42′N 114°41′E / 15.7°N 114.683°E / 15.7; 114.683 (Learmonth Shoal)
Plover Shoal Haijiu Ansha 海鳩暗沙 15°36′N 114°28′E / 15.6°N 114.467°E / 15.6; 114.467 (Plover Shoal)
Addington Patch Anding Lianjiao 安定連礁 15°37′N 114°24′E / 15.617°N 114.4°E / 15.617; 114.4 (Addington Patch)
Smith Shoal Meisi Ansha 美溪暗沙 15°27′N 114°12′E / 15.45°N 114.2°E / 15.45; 114.2 (Smith Shoal)
Bassett Shoal Bude Ansha 布德暗沙 15°27′N 114°10′E / 15.45°N 114.167°E / 15.45; 114.167 (Bassett Shoal)
Balfour Shoal Pofu Ansha 波洑暗沙 or
15°27′N 114°00′E / 15.45°N 114°E / 15.45; 114 (Balfour Shoal)
Parry Shoal Paipo Ansha 排波暗沙 15°29′N 113°51′E / 15.483°N 113.85°E / 15.483; 113.85 (Parry Shoal)
Cawston Shoal Guodian Ansha 果淀暗沙 15°32′N 113°46′E / 15.533°N 113.767°E / 15.533; 113.767 (Cawston Shoal)
Penguin Bank Paihong Ansha 排洪灘 15°38′N 113°43′E / 15.633°N 113.717°E / 15.633; 113.717 (Penguin Bank)
Tanered Shoal Taojing Ansha 濤靜暗沙 15°41′N 113°54′E / 15.683°N 113.9°E / 15.683; 113.9 (Tanered Shoal)
Combe Shoal Kongpai Ansha 控湃暗沙 15°48′N 113°54′E / 15.8°N 113.9°E / 15.8; 113.9 (Combe Shoal)
Cathy (Cathay) Shoal Huaxia Ansha 華夏暗沙 15°54′N 113°58′E / 15.9°N 113.967°E / 15.9; 113.967 (Cathy Shoal)
Hardy Patches Shitanglian Lianjiao 石塘連礁 16°02′N 114°46′E / 16.033°N 114.767°E / 16.033; 114.767 (Hardy Patches)
Hand Shoal Zhizhang Ansha 指掌暗沙 16°00′N 114°39′E / 16°N 114.65°E / 16; 114.65 (Hand Shoal)
Margesson Shoal Nanfei Ansha 南扉暗沙 15°55′N 114°38′E / 15.917°N 114.633°E / 15.917; 114.633 (Margesson Shoal)
Walker Shoal Manbu Ansha 漫步暗沙 15°55′N 114°29′E / 15.917°N 114.483°E / 15.917; 114.483 (Walker Shoal)
Phillip's Shoal Lexi Ansha 樂西暗沙 15°52′N 114°25′E / 15.867°N 114.417°E / 15.867; 114.417 (Phillip's Shoal)
Payne Shoal Pingnan Ansha 屏南暗沙 15°52′N 114°34′E / 15.867°N 114.567°E / 15.867; 114.567 (Payne Shoal)

The Chinese term for the Macclesfield Bank has a wider meaning than the geographic feature or atoll; it includes some geographically separate features:

To the east, near the Philippines are

Far to the north is

To the south, near the Spratly Islands, there are:

  • Dreyer Shoal (Zhongnan Ansha, 中南暗沙)
  • Zhongnan Seamount (中南海山)
  • Longnan Seamount (龍南海山)
  • Changlong Seamount (長龍海山)

See also

External links



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