Sand Cay

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Sand Cay
Disputed island
Geography
From right to left: Sand Cay, Zhongzhou/Ban Than Reef and Itu Aba Island
Position of Sand Cay
Position of Sand Cay
Location South China Sea
Coordinates 10°22′42″N 114°28′34″E / 10.3783°N 114.476°E / 10.3783; 114.476Coordinates: 10°22′42″N 114°28′34″E / 10.3783°N 114.476°E / 10.3783; 114.476
Archipelago Spratly Islands
Administered by
 Vietnam
Claimed by
 People's Republic of China
 Philippines
 Republic of China (Taiwan)

Sand Cay or Son Ca Island (Tagalog: Bailan; Chinese: 敦谦沙洲; pinyin: Dunqian Shazhou; Vietnamese: đảo Sơn Ca) is a cay in Spratly Islands of South China Sea. With an area of 7 hectares (17 acres), it is the ninth largest island and the fourth largest Vietnamese-occupied island in the Spratly Islands. The island is occupied by Vietnam (since 1974, first by the Republic of Vietnam, then by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam after 1975), but also claimed by the People's Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Philippines.

Geography[edit]

Being part of Tizard Bank,[1] Sand Cay lies 6.2 nautical miles (11.5 km) to the east of Itu Aba Island occupied by the Republic of China (Taiwan). It is 450 metres (490 yd) in length, 102 metres (112 yd) in width and has an elevation of 3.5 metres (11 ft) to 3.8 metres (12 ft) at low tide.[2] There is a 41-metre (134 feet) high light house on the islet.[3] Sand Cay is commonly confused with Sandy Cay which is a sandy shoal (coral reef) near Thitu Island.

Ecology[edit]

Sand Cay has no source of natural fresh water, but the islet's coral sand is covered with a thin layer of fertile humus mixing with guano. The vegetation mainly composes of Barringtonia asiatica, Ipomoea pes-caprae and Casuarinaceae's species as well as some kinds of grass.[2] In recent years, islanders have cultivated fruit trees such as pomelo, jackfruit, dragonfruit, sugar-apple and guava.[4] Sand Cay is usually visited by seabirds, and its surrounding water is rich of fish, sea snails and sea cucumbers.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Digital Gazetter of Spratly Islands". Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  2. ^ a b c (Vietnamese)Những điều cần biết về hai quần đảo Hoàng Sa, Trường Sa và khu vực thềm lục địa phía nam [What you need to know about Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands and southern continental shelf]. Political Department, Naval Command (Vietnam). 2011. 
  3. ^ (Vietnamese)Phạm Thanh Hà; Lưu Phương Mai (May 9, 2011). "Kí sự Trường Sa - kì 3: Nơi anh đến là biển xa...". Nhân dân online. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ (Vietnamese) Nguyễn Đình Quân (December 27, 2011). "Sơn Ca Xanh". Tiền phong online. Retrieved March 22, 2013.