Scarborough Shoal

Scarborough Shoal

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Scarborough Shoal

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Scarborough Shoal or Scarborough Reef (Philippine name: Panatag Shoal; Chinese name: Huangyan Island; ), more correctly described as a group of islands and reefs in an atoll shape than a shoal, is located between the Macclesfield Bank and Luzon, Philippines in the South China Sea. As with most of the landforms in this sea, the sovereignty of the area is disputed. The Philippines, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China (Taiwan) all lay claim to the shoal. Most references exclude this atoll from inclusion in the Spratly Islands, of which the closest is 350 km to the southwest.

The shoal was named after a tea-trade ship Scarborough which was wrecked on the rock with everyone perished on board in the late 18th century.Bayly, Richard. Diary of Colonel Bayly: 12th regiment. 1796-1830. Army and Navy Co-operative Society, 1896, pg. 108.


The shoal forms a triangle shaped chain of reefs and islands (but mostly rocks) around with an of area 150 square kilometers. It has a lagoon with area of 130 kmĀ² and depth of about . The shoal is a protrusion in a 3,500m deep abyssal plain. Several of the islands including "South Rock" are 1/2m to 3m high and many of the reefs are just below water at high tide. Near the mouth of the lagoon are the ruins of an iron tower, 8.3m high. The nearest landmass is Palauig, Zambales, on Luzon Island in the Philippines, away. It is about west of Subic Bay.


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