Geography of Macau

Last updated

Macau is a Special Administrative Region on the southern coast of China. It is located at the south of Guangdong Province, on the tip of the peninsula formed by the Zhujiang (Pearl River) estuary on the east and the Xijiang (West River) on the west. Macau is situated 60 km (37 mi) west of Hong Kong, and 145 km (90 mi) southwest of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. It is situated immediately east and south of Zhuhai.

Contents

The region comprises the Macau Peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau was once an island but gradually a connecting sandbar turned into a narrow isthmus. Land reclamation in the 17th century made Macau into a peninsula, and a barrier gate was built to mark the separation between the peninsula and the mainland. Pre-colonial records show that Macau totalled only 2.78 km2 (1.07 sq mi) but began to increase as a result of Portuguese settlement. Land growth has accelerated since the last quarter of the 20th century, from 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi) in 1972 to 16.1 km2 (6.22 sq mi) in 1983 to 21.3 km2 (8.22 sq mi) in 1994. Macau's size has gradually increased as result of continued land reclamation, especially on Taipa and Coloane. In 2014, the total land area was approximately 30.3 km2 (11.7 sq mi).

There is a 0.34 km (0.21 mi) long border between Macau and mainland China and a forty-kilometre-long coastline. The main border crossing between Macau and China is the Portas do Cerco (Barrier Gate) Frontier Checkpoint on the Macau side, and the Gongbei checkpoint on the Chinese side.

Location, size, border, and coastline

Macau borders the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province. The map also shows Macau's maritime boundaries, the western end of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the leased territory in Zhuhai (the University of Macau) and Macau Light Rapid Transit. Macau2021OSM.png
Macau borders the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province. The map also shows Macau's maritime boundaries, the western end of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, the leased territory in Zhuhai (the University of Macau) and Macau Light Rapid Transit.

Geographic coordinates: 22°10′N113°33′E / 22.167°N 113.550°E / 22.167; 113.550

Area

 km2 [1]

Land boundaries

Coastline

Topography

The administrative divisions within Macau (Click here for Satellite Image) Administrative Division of Macau.png
The administrative divisions within Macau (Click here for Satellite Image)
View of the old city Vistas de Macao, 2013-08-08, DD 05.jpg
View of the old city
View of the casinos Vista de los casinos desde el Centro de Ciencia, Macao, 2013-08-08, DD 04.jpg
View of the casinos

Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Terrain: generally flat
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 172 m (564 ft)

List of highest hills in Macau SAR

NameLocationNotesHeightPhoto
Alto de Coloane Coloane
172.4m
Unnamed (Triangulation Pillar C6) Coloane170.3m
Unnamed (Triangulation Pillar C4) Coloane163.8m
Taipa Grande Taipa160.4m
Unnamed (Triangulation Pillar T16) Taipa152.9m
Ponto Central Coloane138.1m
Monte de Ka Ho Coloane132m
Unnamed (Triangulation Pillar C56) Coloane126m
Morro de Artilharia Coloane120m
UnnamedColoane114.8m
Taipa Pequena Taipa112m
Unnamed (Triangulation Point C25)Coloane108.8m
Guia Hill Macau91.6m
Barra Hill Macau74.4m
Ilha Verde hill Macau54.5m

Macau has generally flat terrain resulting from extensive land reclamation, but numerous steep hills mark the original natural land mass. The modern high-rise skyline of Macau obscures much of the hilly landscape. The Macau skyline both defines and obscures its topography.

The Macau Peninsula is narrow in shape but varies in terrain.

Climate

Macau
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
32
 
 
18
12
 
 
59
 
 
18
13
 
 
83
 
 
21
16
 
 
217
 
 
25
20
 
 
362
 
 
28
24
 
 
340
 
 
30
26
 
 
290
 
 
32
26
 
 
352
 
 
31
26
 
 
194
 
 
30
25
 
 
117
 
 
27
22
 
 
43
 
 
23
18
 
 
35
 
 
20
14
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: WMO

Although Macau is located in the tropics, it has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa), because the Siberian pressure system in the winter pushes cool air further south than similar semipermanent permanent high pressure systems. Its average year-round temperature is 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). Summers are very hot and humid: the July average temperature is 28.9 °C (84.0 °F) and the highest daytime temperature could reach 35 °C (95 °F). However, the heat is generally less intense than many places in mainland China due to the coastal location. Winters are short and mild: the January average is 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) and the lowest temperature could drop to 5 °C (41 °F), but very rarely any lower. There is about 2,120 millimetres (83 in) of rainfall annually, with drier winters.

Macau is exposed to tropical storms originating from the southern Pacific Ocean during the summer. Major destruction occurred in September 1874, when a devastating typhoon hit Macau and high seas swept across the low-lying area of the peninsula. There are always a few tropical storm occurrences in Macau each year (typically between May to October), although they vary in strengths. When they occur, they usually bring strong winds, rainfall and lower temperatures.

Prevailing winds and weather types change follow the monsoon pattern. It is warm and moist when the southeast and southwest winds are coming from the Pacific Ocean, and typhoons are relatively common during summertime. It is dry and slightly cold when the north winds are coming from Siberia or the northern part of Mainland China.

During the transition period from northeast monsoon to southwest monsoon (March and April), the weather is moist and foggy. It is Macau's spring season. Summer is from May to September, when the southeast and southwest monsoon prevailing. It is rather hot and rainy. The weather in autumn (the end of September and October) is sunny and warm, when the southwest monsoon withdrawing gradually and the northeast monsoon advancing south. It is generally regarded as the most comfortable season there. Winter is from November to February next year, when the northeast monsoon prevailing. It is mainly dry, with occasional cold fronts arriving.

There are moderate to high levels of humidity year-round, with an annual average of 79.3%. Annual sunshine totals are moderate, at more than 1800 hours.

Climate data for Macau (19912020, extremes 1901present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)29.1
(84.4)
30.2
(86.4)
31.5
(88.7)
35.3
(95.5)
37.5
(99.5)
36.9
(98.4)
38.9
(102.0)
38.5
(101.3)
38.1
(100.6)
36.0
(96.8)
34.2
(93.6)
30.0
(86.0)
38.9
(102.0)
Average high °C (°F)18.6
(65.5)
19.2
(66.6)
21.4
(70.5)
25.1
(77.2)
28.7
(83.7)
30.5
(86.9)
31.4
(88.5)
31.5
(88.7)
30.8
(87.4)
28.5
(83.3)
24.7
(76.5)
20.3
(68.5)
25.9
(78.6)
Daily mean °C (°F)15.2
(59.4)
16.1
(61.0)
18.6
(65.5)
22.3
(72.1)
25.8
(78.4)
27.8
(82.0)
28.4
(83.1)
28.3
(82.9)
27.5
(81.5)
25.1
(77.2)
21.3
(70.3)
16.9
(62.4)
22.8
(73.0)
Average low °C (°F)12.7
(54.9)
13.9
(57.0)
16.5
(61.7)
20.3
(68.5)
23.7
(74.7)
25.7
(78.3)
26.1
(79.0)
25.9
(78.6)
25.1
(77.2)
22.7
(72.9)
18.8
(65.8)
14.3
(57.7)
20.5
(68.9)
Record low °C (°F)−1.8
(28.8)
0.4
(32.7)
3.2
(37.8)
8.5
(47.3)
13.8
(56.8)
18.5
(65.3)
19.3
(66.7)
19.0
(66.2)
13.2
(55.8)
9.5
(49.1)
5.0
(41.0)
0.0
(32.0)
−1.8
(28.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches)34.2
(1.35)
43.9
(1.73)
80.0
(3.15)
153.5
(6.04)
286.0
(11.26)
373.7
(14.71)
290.7
(11.44)
331.4
(13.05)
227.8
(8.97)
75.1
(2.96)
39.0
(1.54)
31.3
(1.23)
1,966.6
(77.43)
Average precipitation days5.88.911.411.614.117.716.616.212.36.24.95.0130.9
Average relative humidity (%)74.980.585.086.384.984.682.782.178.372.572.670.879.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 126.585.774.894.6135.5159.0211.3188.2178.3192.2158.1145.11,749.3
Source: Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau [2] [3]

Natural resources

Negligible. In the past, large amounts of granite were extracted from Macau's hills for use as building material.

Fresh water

Relying on water supply from the Xijiang River, in 2006 Macau suffered its worse crisis of salinity in freshwater during the dry season, which takes place in late winter and early spring. [4] To address salinity issues, as of 2018 three water supply pipelines to Macau have been built and a fourth pipeline was planned for completion in 2019. [5]

Land use and reclamation

Macau Peninsula and Ilha Verde in 1889 Macau 1889.jpg
Macau Peninsula and Ilha Verde in 1889
Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane in 1912 MapaMacau1912.jpg
Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane in 1912
Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane in 1986 MapaMacau1986.jpg
Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane in 1986
Land reclamation in Macau from 1555 to 2011 Macau topographic map-fr animated.gif
Land reclamation in Macau from 1555 to 2011

Until early 20th century, the Macau peninsula was dotted with small farms on its northern area, beyond the walls protecting the city. Currently, in the Macau peninsula, no arable land, natural pastures or woodland exists and forests have been cleared and plant species have been subjected to profound changes. Coloane on the other hand, due to its later colonisation, still has its forests and is dotted with small farms, namely around the Coloane, Hac Sa and Ka Ho villages.

arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2011)

In 2010 plans were announced for an additional 3.5 square kilometres of land reclamation in Macau, to be carried out over five years and divided into six phases. These areas cover an area east of the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, an area south of Avenida Sun Yat Sen, and the north side of Taipa Island. [6]

The change of total area of Macau (in km square) since the year of 1912:

Note
* - not included in "Total area of Macau"
YearArea of Macau PeninsulaArea of TaipaArea of ColoaneArea of Cotai Total area of MacauArea of UM Hengqin*
19123.4*2.35.911.6
19365.22.66.013.8
19575.53.36.315.1
19865.83.77.116.6
19916.54.07.618.1
19967.75.87.621.3
19997.86.27.62.223.8
20008.56.27.63.125.4
20018.56.27.63.525.8
20028.56.27.64.526.8
20038.76.27.64.727.3
20048.86.47.64.727.5
20058.96.57.65.228.2
20069.36.57.65.228.6
2007-089.36.77.65.629.2
20099.36.87.65.829.5
20109.36.87.66.0*29.7
2011-129.37.47.65.629.9
2013-149.37.67.65.830.31.0
2015 (Sept.)9.37.67.65.930.41.0

Environmental factors

Dense urban environment.

Geography – note: essentially urban; three bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula on mainland, and an isthmus connects Coloane and Taipa.

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, can be geographically divided into three territories: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and the New Territories. Hong Kong is a coastal city and major port in Southern China, bordering Guangdong province through the city of Shenzhen to the north and the South China Sea to the west, east and south. Hong Kong and its 260 territorial islands and peninsulas are located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. The area of Hong Kong is distinct from Mainland China, but is considered part of "Greater China".

Macau City and special administrative region of the Peoples Republic of China

Macau, also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a city and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With a population of about 680,000 and an area of 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.

History of Macau Macau SAR history

Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. In 1557 it was leased to Portugal as a trading post in exchange for an annual rent of 500 tael in order to stay in Macau, it remained under Chinese sovereignty and authority until 1887, the Portuguese came to consider and administer it as a de facto colony. Following the signing of the Treaty of Nanking between China and Britain in 1842, and the signing of treaties between China and foreign powers during the 1860s, establishing the benefit of "the most favoured nation" for them, the Portuguese attempted to conclude a similar treaty in 1862, but the Chinese refused, owing to a misunderstanding over the sovereignty of Macau. In 1887 the Portuguese finally managed to secure an agreement from China that Macao was Portuguese territory. In 1999 it was handed over to China. Macau was the last extant European territory in continental Asia.

Transport in Macau

Transport in Macau includes road, sea, rail and air transport. Road transport is the primary mode of transport within Macau, although a new rail system opened in December 2019 serving the areas of Taipa and Cotai. The main forms of public transport are buses and taxis.

Geography of Thailand Thailands geography and meteorology

Thailand is in the middle of mainland Southeast Asia. It has a total size of 513,120 km2 (198,120 sq mi) which is the 50th largest in the world. The land border is 4,863 km (3,022 mi) long with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. The nation's axial position influenced many aspects of Thailand's society and culture. It controls the only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore. It has an exclusive economic zone of 299,397 km2 (115,598 sq mi).

Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge Fixed link consisting of tunnel and multiple bridges

The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB) is a 55-kilometre (34 mi) bridge–tunnel system consisting of a series of three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and four artificial islands. It is both the longest sea crossing and the longest open-sea fixed link in the world. The HZMB spans the Lingding and Jiuzhou channels, connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai—three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.

Taipa Area of Macau in Macao Special Administrative Region, China

Taipa is an island in Macau, presently united with the island of Coloane by reclaimed land known as Cotai. Administratively, the boundaries of the traditional civil parish Freguesia de Nossa Senhora do Carmo are coterminous with that of former Taipa Island.

Coloane Freguesia in Macau, Peoples Republic of China

Coloane is an island in Macau that is united with the island of Taipa by an area of reclaimed land known as Cotai. It is located at the southern part of Macau. Administratively, the boundaries of the traditional civil parish of São Francisco Xavier are coterminous with that of Coloane.

Macau Peninsula

The Macau Peninsula is the most populous and historic part of Macau. It has an area of 8.5 square kilometers (3.3 sq mi) and is geographically connected to Guangdong province at the northeast through an isthmus 200 meters (660 ft) wide. The peninsula, together with downtown Zhuhai, sits on an island separated from the continent by distributaries of the Pearl River. The Border Gate was built on the northern isthmus. At the south, the peninsula is connected to Taipa Island by three bridges, the Friendship Bridge ; the Macau-Taipa Bridge ; and the Sai Van Bridge . The longest axis extends 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the Border Gate to the southwestern edge, Barra (媽閣嘴). There is a western "Inner Harbor" (內港) paralleled by an "Outer Harbor" (外港) to the east. The 93 meters (305 ft) Guia Hill (松山) is the highest point on the peninsula, which has an average elevation of 50 to 75 meters. Many coastal places are reclaimed from the sea. The Historic Center of Macau, which is entirely on the Macau Peninsula, became a World Heritage Site in 2005.

Hengqin Town and New Area in Zhuhai / Macau, Peoples Republic of China

Hengqin is an island in Zhuhai, a prefecture-level city and Special Economic Zone in Guangdong Province of the People's Republic of China. It has a population of about 3,000. Parts of Hengqin were leased to Macau by the State Council of the People's Republic of China starting in 2009, with the area expanding. In the leased parts of the island, Macau law applies.

Tourism in Macau

Tourism is a major industry in Macau. It is famous for the blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures and its gambling industry, which includes Casino Lisboa, Macau, Sands Macau, The Venetian Macao, and Wynn Macau.

Qingyuan Prefecture-level city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Qingyuan, formerly romanized as Tsingyun, is a prefecture-level city in northern Guangdong province, China, on the banks of the Bei or North River. During the 2010 census, its total population was 3,698,412, out of whom 1,510,044 lived in the urbanized Qingcheng and Qingxin districts. The primary spoken language is Cantonese. Covering 19,015 km2 (7,342 sq mi), Qingyuan is Guangdong's largest prefecture-level division by land area, and it borders Guangzhou and Foshan to the south, Shaoguan to the east and northeast, Zhaoqing to the south and southwest, and Hunan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to the north. The urban core is surrounded by mountainous areas but is directly connected with Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta by Highway 107.

Cotai Zone in Municipality of Ilhas, Macau

Cotai is a 5.2-square-kilometer (2.0 sq mi) piece of newly reclaimed land on top of Seac Pai Bay between Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, that has made two independent islands become one island, since 2005. The word can also refer to the entire new island which was formed by the reclamation. In the second sense, the Special Administrative Region of Macau now consists of the Macau Peninsula plus Cotai Island, about a mile to the south.

Yunfu Prefecture-level city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

Yunfu, historically known as Dong'an from 1578-1913, is a prefecture-level city in western Guangdong province, People's Republic of China. It borders Zhaoqing to the north, Foshan to the east, Jiangmen to the southwest, Yangjiang to the south, Maoming to the southwest, and the autonomous region of Guangxi to the west.

Outline of Macau Overview of and topical guide to Macau

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Macau:

Wanzai, Small Hengqin and Great Hengqin islands Place in Zhuhai / Macau, China


Wanzai, Small Hengqin and Great Hengqin were three Chinese islands located to the west of the Macau Peninsula and the Macau islands of Taipa and Coloane. They were inhabited by very small Chinese population in its early history and have since been combined via land reclamation to form the current Hengqin island.

Freguesia de Nossa Senhora do Carmo Freguesia in Macao Special Administrative Region, China

Freguesia de Nossa Senhora do Carmo is a civil parish in Macao Special Administrative Region. The major part of the freguesia is located in Taipa but it runs through to Hengqin Island in mainland China. The freguesia is named after the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo. It is the largest freguesia in Macau with an area of 7.9 square kilometers.

Electricity sector in Macau Electricity sector in Macau, China

The electricity sector in Macau ranges from generation, transmission, distribution and sales of electricity in Macau, China.

References

  1. 1 2 "Macao to administrate 85 square kilometres of waters". Government Information Bureau of the MSARGovernment Information Bureau of the MSAR. Government of Macau. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. "Macao Climate: 30-year Statistics of some meteorological elements". Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  3. "Macao Climate: Extreme Value of some meteorological elements (1901-2020)". Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  4. Fox, Yi Hu (23 February 2006). "Fresh-water crisis looms for Macau". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  5. Wong, Yi Wei (20 August 2018). "Macau | Fourth water supply pipeline will be built in 2019". Macau Business.com. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  6. Alexandra Lages (19 June 2010). "Land reclamation to be done in the next 5 years". Macau Daily Times. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.