A satellite image of the peninsula
|Postal Map||Leichow Peninsula|
The Leizhou Peninsula is the third largest peninsula in China with an area of c. 8,500 square kilometers (3,300 sq mi) located on the southwestern end of Guangdong, with the Gulf of Tonkin to the west and the 30 km wide Qiongzhou Strait to the south, separating the peninsula from Hainan Island. It is the most southerly point of continental China.
Geologically, basalt terraces account for 43% of the peninsula's area. The rest is divided up between marine terraces (27%) and alluvial plains (17%). Leizhou Peninsula is dotted with a few dormant volcanoes, beaches, and low-lying diluvial plains.
Leizhou has two separate volcanic fields: a Pleistocene–Holocene field at the northern end of the peninsula west of Zhanjiang (雷北火山群, Leibei Huoshanqun) and the northern end of the Qionglei or Leiqiong volcanic field, which extends across the strait into northern Hainan (雷南火山群, Leinan Huoshanqun). The volcanoes derive from the east-to-west tectonic extension and thinning of the lithosphere connected with the creation of the South China Sea's basin. Two Pleistocene-era basaltic stratovolcanoes are Yingfengling (鹰峰岭) and Tianyang (田洋), 15 km (9.3 mi) apart in the center of the peninsula. There is also a third volcanic field responsible for some of the islands offshore (火山岩岛屿, Huoshanyan Daoyu).
Critically endangered North Pacific Right Whales and western Gray Whales, and Humpback Whales were once known to occur around the peninsula in the winter and spring to calve. Waters such as Wailuo Harbor were ideal habitats for these giants. These whales were heavily hunted and were wiped out by Japanese whalers in this regions. (Japanese whalers established whaling stations at various sites along the Chinese and Korean coasts including on the island of Hainan and at Daya Bay). Dugongs still occur in small number.
The peninsula lies in tropical South China. The region is under the influence of continental northeastern monsoons and maritime southeastern and southwestern monsoons. Typhoons occasionally occur, both from the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. Annual precipitation is 1400–1700mm.
- Zhànjiāng, port city on the north-eastern coast
- Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, former French colony on the north-eastern coast of the peninsula
- Volcanoes of Leizhou at the German Wikipedia (German)
- VolcanoDiscovery. "Leizhou Bandao volcano" [sic]. Accessed 24 Jul 2014.
- Stone dogs in Leizhou Peninsula
- A map of the peninsula's volcanic fields from the Zhanjiang municipal website (Chinese)
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