Benham Rise, also called Benham Plateau, is a seismically lively undersea area east of Luzon, off the provinces of Isabela and Aurora.

Formed by intraplate igneous exercise, the Benham Rise area spans about 24.four million hectares—with 11.four million hectares inside the nation’s unique financial zone and 13 million hectares as prolonged continental shelf (ECS).

The Benham Rise area, a large formation of basalt, a standard volcanic rock, has been proven to have pure gasoline deposits and manganese nodules that, based on former Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, is significant in the manufacturing of metal.

The underwater geological formation consists of Benham Rise, Narra Spur and Molave Spur — all constituting a volcanic plateau standing about three,500 meters above the surrounding seafloor at its crest, and about 500 m  above the surrounding seafloor alongside its northern and jap margins.

The shallowest half in Benham Rise, which is lower than 50 m deep, is named the Benham Bank.

In an expedition in May  2016, marine scientists noticed in Benham Bank a 100-percent coral cowl in a number of websites, with a powerful area of plate corals. They additionally discovered a stunning array of sentimental and laborious corals, fish, algae and sponges.

“We saw terraces of corals as far as the eye could see. It’s so exciting to know that we have such a vast and pristine coral reef ecosystem within Philippine territory,” Marianne Pan-Saniano, a marine scientist at Oceana Philippines, was quoted in the group’s e-newsletter in February.

Benham Rise, which is related to the jap margin of Luzon by means of the Palanan and Bicol saddles, is enclosed by the coordinates 119°30’E to 132°00’E and 12°10’N to 20°30’N latitude.

It lies inside the continental shelf of the Philippines as outlined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

Under the Unclos, a coastal state’s unique financial zone extends 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) from its continental shelf, whereas its prolonged continental shelf (ECS) extends for one more 278 km (150 nautical miles).

In 2012, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf of the United Nations adopted in full the Philippines’ submission for an ECS in the Benham Rise area.

The ECS is part of the seabed, not together with the waters, which holds mineral and genetic sources. The ECS in the Benham Rise area has an space of 135,506 sq km (13.5 million hectares), equal to about half of the nation’s land space. —Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives,, Summary of the Partial Submission of Data and Information on the outer Limits of the Continental Shelf of the Philippines

Source: inquirer