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The Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 Million mi² (5 Million km²)[1] on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean[2]. It is bordered by the Philippine archipelago (Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao) on the southwest; Palau, Yap, and Ulithi (of the Carolines) on the southeast; the Marianas, including Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, on the east; the Bonin and Iwo Jima on the northeast; the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyūshū on the north; the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama) on the northwest; and Taiwan in the extreme west.[3]

The sea has a complex and diverse undersea relief[4]. The floor is formed into a structural basin by a series of geologic faults and fracture zones. Island arcs, which are actually extended ridges protruding above the ocean surface due to plate tectonic activity in the area, enclose the Philippine Sea to the north, east and south. The Philippine archipelago, Ryuku Islands, and the Marianas are examples. Another prominent feature of the Philippine Sea is the presence of deep sea trench, among them the Philippine Trench and the Mariana Trench, containing the deepest point on the planet.




The Philippine Sea is bordered by the Philippines and Taiwan to the west, Japan to the north, the Marianas to the east and Palau to the south. Adjacent seas include Celebes Sea which is separated by Mindanao and smaller islands to the south, South China Sea which is separated by Philippines, and East China Sea which is separated by Ryukyu Islands.


The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Philippine Sea as "that area of the North Pacific Ocean off the Eastern coasts of the Philippine Islands", bounded as follows:[5]

On the West. By the Eastern limits of the East Indian Archipelago, South China Sea and the Eastern China Sea.

On the North. By the Southeast coast of Kyushu, the Southern and Eastern limits of the Inland Sea and the South coast of Honshu Island.

On the East. By the ridge joining Japan to the Bonin, Volcano and Ladrone (Mariana) Islands, all these being included in the Philippine Sea.

On the South. By a line joining Guam, Yap, Pelew (Palau) and Halmahera Islands.


The Philippine Sea Plate forms the floor of this sea and it subducts under the Philippine Mobile Belt which carries most of the Philippine archipelago and eastern Taiwan. Between the two plates is the Philippine Trench.


The Philippine Sea hosts an exotic marine ecosystem. About five hundred species of hard and soft corals occur in the coastal waters and 20 per cent of the worldwide known shellfish species are found in Philippine waters. Sea turtles, sharks, moray eels, octopuses and sea snakes along with numerous species of fish such as tuna can commonly be observed. Additionally, the Philippine Sea serves as spawning ground for Japanese eel, tuna and different whale species.[4]


In June 1944 the Battle of the Philippine Sea, a very large and decisive World War II naval battle between Japan and the United States, took place in the eastern Philippine Sea, near the Mariana Islands.


  1. ^
  2. ^ North Pacific Ocean
  3. ^ [Philippine sea is the largest... please compare it into the south china sea....... "Philippine Sea"]. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Philippine sea is the largest... please compare it into the south china sea....... Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  4. ^ a b "Philippine Sea". Lighthouse Foundation. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  5. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 30 December 2009.  

Coordinates: 20°0′N 130°0′E / 20°N 130°E / 20; 130

Simple English

File:Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is the body of water east of the Philippines and Taiwan. It is a part of the western end of the Pacific Ocean. It straddles on the Philippine Plate. The Philippine Sea is bounded by Japan to the north, the Marianas to the east and Palau to the south.

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