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Philippine Sea

Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 90, 000 mi² (1, 000, 000 km²) on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Philippine Islands (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 Kyushu on the north; the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama) on the northwest; and Taiwan in the extreme west.

The sea has a complex and diverse undersea relief. 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 Deep and the Marianas Trench, the deepest point in the planet.

Geography

Location

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.

Geology

The Philippine Plate forms the floor of this sea and it subducts under the Eurasian Plate which formed the Philippine archipelago. Between the two plates is the Philippine Trench.The Philippine Islands are tropical.

Biology

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.

History

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.

References

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