The Tizard Bank, is a partially sunken atoll and one of the significant maritime features of the north-western part of the Spratly Islands. It is claimed by the Vietnam, and various parts of it are occupied by these states.
It was named after Thomas Henry Tizard (1839 – 17 February 1924), a British oceanographer and surveyor who surveyed the bank from aboard HMS Rifleman in the 1860s. In 1947 the Republic of China government gave the bank the name Zheng He Archipelago after the famous Ming-era admiral, although there is no evidence that he ever visited Tizard Bank.
From before the 1870s the islands were used by fishermen from Hainan with Itu Aba Island having a semi-permanent settlement of Chinese fishermen.
The bank rises steeply from surrounding depths ranging from 500 to 700 meters. It is 32.05 nautical miles (59.36 km; 36.88 mi) in length, and extends west from the Gaven Reefs to the NW of Dangerous Ground. The atoll is up to 11.36 nautical miles (21.04 km; 13.07 mi) wide. The total area is 953 square kilometres (368 sq mi), and the greatest depth of the central lagoon is 80 meters. The central lagoon generally is 10 to 40 meters deep, although many coral heads have much shallower depths. There are several entrances into the lagoon.
The bank contains a number of features along the rim of the reef, including shoals, reefs, islands, and cays, numerous wrecks, some lighthouses, and an ammunition dumping ground in about 2000m of water to the north of Itu Aba.Several coral heads with depths of 6-12m lie in the lagoon, and depths "3.7m less than charted can be expected. ... Mariners should navigate with extreme caution in this vicinity."
Features in the area include:
It is neighboured by the Loaita Bank to the North, Discovery Great Reef to the west, and the Union Banks to the south.
Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, and various other names, is the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The island is elliptical in shape being 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) in length and 0.4 kilometres (0.25 mi) in width, with an area of 46 hectares. It is located on the northern edge of the Tizard Bank. The runway of the Taiping Island Airport is easily the most prominent feature on the island, running its entire length.
Loaita Island also known as Kota Island, with an area of 6.45 hectares -- is the tenth largest of the naturally-occurring Spratly Islands, and the fifth largest of the Philippine-occupied islands. It is located just to the west of the northern part of Dangerous Ground, and is 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Philippine-occupied Thitu Island (Pag-asa) and 22 miles (35 km) north-northeast of Taiwan-occupied Itu Aba Island.
Namyit Island, also known as Vietnamese: Đảo Nam Yết; Binago Island ; Mandarin Chinese: 鴻庥島/鸿庥岛; pinyin: Hóngxiū Dǎo, is the third-largest island on Tizard Bank in the northwest of the Spratly Islands in South China Sea. With an area of 5.3 hectares, it is the twelfth-largest naturally-occurring Spratly island, and the fifth-largest among the Vietnamese-administered islands. The island is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, and Taiwan (ROC).
Sand Cay, also known as Bailan Island ; Son Ca Island ; Mandarin Chinese: 敦謙沙洲/敦谦沙洲; pinyin: Dūnqiān Shāzhōu, is a cay on the north edge of the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. With an area of 7 hectares, it is the ninth largest, and the fourth largest former Vietnamese-administered, of the Spratly Islands. The island has been occupied by Vietnam since 1974,. It is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan (ROC).
Mariveles Reef, is located in the SW of Dangerous Ground in the Spratly Islands. It is 59 kilometres (37 mi) slightly east of north from Swallow Reef and 35 nautical miles southeast of Barque Canada Reef.
Ardasier Reef, also known as Malay: Terumbu Ubi, lit. 'Yam Reef'; Antonio Luna Reef ; Vietnamese: đá Kiêu Ngựa; Mandarin Chinese: 光星仔礁; pinyin: Guāngxīngzǐ Jiāo, is a triangular shaped feature on the SW extremity of Dangerous Ground in the Spratly Islands.
Zhongzhou Reef also known as Ban Than Reef and Centre Cay is a small coral reef on the north edge of the Tizard Bank in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea under administration by the Republic of China (Taiwan). It lies 4.6 km (2.9 mi) east of Taiwan-administered Taiping Island, 7.2 km (4.5 mi) west of Vietnam-administered Sand Cay, and has an exposed area of approximately 0.2 hectares during high tide, and 0.6 hectares during low tide. It consists of an accumulation of seashells, sand, coral reefs and debris which forms a circular coral reef plate, surrounding the reef under the water, with a diameter of approximately 1.3 km (0.8 mi).
The Gaven Reefs, also known in Mandarin Chinese: 南薰礁; pinyin: Nánxūn Jiāo and Chinese: 西南礁; pinyin: Xīnán Jiāo; Burgos Reefs ; Vietnamese: Đá Ga Ven and Vietnamese: Đá Lạc, is a group of two reefs in the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Trường Sa is an island district of Khánh Hòa province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It was established on the basis of the Spratly Islands, which is also claimed wholly or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. According to the 2009 census, the district has a population of 195 people.
Dangerous Ground is a large area in the southeast part of the South China Sea characterized by many low islands and cays, sunken reefs, and atolls awash, with reefs often rising abruptly from ocean depths greater than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
Union Banks is a large drowned atoll in the center of Dangerous Ground in the Spratly Islands in South China Sea, 230 kilometres west of the Philippine coast, containing islands and reefs whose ownership remains disputed and controversial. The closest atoll is Tizard Bank, 25 kilometres due north of Union Banks. There are only two natural islands on the rim of the reef, Sin Cowe Island and Sin Cowe East Island.
Collins Reef, also known as Johnson North Reef/Johnson Reef North; Vietnamese: Đá Cô Lin; Roxas Reef ; Mandarin Chinese: 鬼喊礁; pinyin: Guǐhǎn Jiāo, is a Vietnamese occupied and controlled reef and the westernmost feature of Union Banks Atoll near the centre of Dangerous Ground in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea. It is also claimed by China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), and the Philippines.
Sabina Shoal, also known as Escoda Shoal ; Mandarin Chinese: 仙賓礁/仙宾礁; pinyin: Xiānbīn Jiāo; Vietnamese: Bãi Sa Bin, is an atoll in the NE of Dangerous Ground in the Spratly Islands. The Philippines puts it under the jurisdiction of Brgy. Pag-asa, Kalayaan, Palawan. It is claimed by the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
North Danger Reef is one of the seven major reefs / banks / etc. in the Spratly Islands area of the South China Sea. It is the most North Western of the features of the Spratly Islands, located to the NW of Dangerous Ground.
The Loaita Bank is one of the significant maritime features in the Spratly Islands. It is about 20 nautical miles long on its NE-SW axis, and extends from Loaita Island to the NW of Dangerous Ground.
Grierson Reef ; Sin Cowe East Island (Vietnamese: Đảo Sinh Tồn Đông); Mandarin Chinese: 染青沙洲; pinyin: Rǎnqīng shāzhōu, is a cay on the eastern part of the Union Banks of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The island has been occupied by Vietnam since 1978. It is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan (ROC).
Pearson Reef, as known as Phanvinh Island ; Mandarin Chinese: 毕生礁; pinyin: Bìshēng jiāo, is a atoll on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The atoll has been occupied by Vietnam since 1978. It is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan (ROC).
Petley Reef ; Núi Thị Reef ; Mandarin Chinese: 舶兰礁; pinyin: Bólán jiāo, is a reef on the northern part of the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The reef has been occupied by Vietnam since 1988. It is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, and Taiwan.
Lansdowne Reef ; Len Đao Reef ; Mandarin Chinese: 琼礁; pinyin: Qióng jiāo, is a cay on the southern part of the Union Banks of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The island has been occupied by Vietnam since 1988. It is also claimed by China (PRC), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan (ROC).