【Location and Area】 Xiamen is just situated in the centre of the west coast of Taiwan straits and the southern Fujian golden triangle area, spanning latitude 23°31’- 28°18’ N and longtitude117°52′-118°26′ E. The city directly faces Jinmen Islands to the east and Longhai city to the south and its land expands to the border of Nan’an city, An’xi county, Changtai county and Longhai city. It consists of the mainland across Xiamen Bay, Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island and Xiamen Bay. Covering a totaled area of 1,699.39 square kilometers, Xiamen has a land area of 157.76 square kilometers (including Gulang Island) and a sea area of 390 square kilometers.
【Geology of Xiamen】 In the long geological history, Xiamen has undergone many times of crustal movement, seawater transgression and regression. The first-level terrace of 5 to 10m meters in Xiamen Island began rising above the sea level six millenniums ago, and the crashing trace by abrasion can be found obviously on the rock on the Yunding Mountain, whose age is above 100 million years. The construction of Xiamen is in the eastern section of volcanic fault basin in the eastern Fujian and the southwest of Southern Fujian coastal metamorphic belt, which belongs to the seismic belt of the southeast coast of China. The design standard for a shock-proof building is 7.5 levels.
【Landform】The city’s terrain slope downward from northwest to southeast, most of the landscape in northwest is highly mountainous and hilly. The highest summit in Xiamen is the 1,175.2-meter-high Yunding Mountain at the border of Tong’an and An’xi country. It is characterized by high plains, low plains, terraces, sea alluvial plains and tidal flats from northwest to southeast and its south bank area is Xiamen Island and Gulang Island. Xiamen Island is the fourth largest island in Fujian, on which he highest peak stands 339.6 meters above sea level. While Gulang Island, locating in the southwest bank to Xiamen Island, is separated from Xiamen by a 700-meter-wide Egret River. The Sunlight Rock is the highest peak in the island, 93 meters above the sea level.
【Sea Areas】Xiamen seas are composed of Xiamen Port, the outer port area, Maluan Bay, Tong’an Bay, the estuary of Jiulon River and its eastern water channel. Islands such as Great Kinmen, lesser Kinmen, Bold Island and Two Gall Island scattering along Xiamen, act as a natural barrier to Xiamen harbor and makes it a natural harbor with deep water all the year around. The coastline resources provide harbor with the capacity to build berths that can accommodate 100,000 tonnage of capacity. For instance, the south of Gulang Island boasting sea area of 14 square kilometers and water depth of 10 meters, is suitable for 100,000-tonnage ships. The inland waterways basically are deep-water channels at a depth of above 10 meters, allowing free access of 50,000-tonnage ships. And the Liuwudian on the east of Xiamen Island can also guarantee the free access of ships capable of ten thousand tons of cargo at once. Xiamen has a coastal line that zigzags to 234 kilometers, among which 43 kilometers belong to deep-water coastline with water depth of 12 meters. The coastline suitable for building berth runs as long as 27 km.
【Climate】Roughly 1.5 degrees away from the tropic of cancer, Xiamen situates in the subtropical oceanic monsoon climate area. The mean temperature was 20.9 ℃ through the year. It is recorded that the lowest temperature ( Dec. 29, 1991) ever since declined to 1.5 ℃ while the hottest temperature (on Jul. 20, 2007) went up to 39.2℃. Thus we say the city has not winner all the year around. Usually we define spring from mid February till the end of April, summer from early May till the end of October, autumn from the end of October to early February. The rainfall season mainly concentrates on the months from April to August, with the spatial distraction of annual rainfall precipitation forming a decreasing trend from southeast to northwest. The average annual rainfall of Tong’an District and Xiamen Island is 1,464mm and 1,143mm respectively. The wind in Xiamen is dense and fast-moving with an average wind speed of 3.4 m/s and the wind power is measured Grade 8 or above for 22.4 days. Typhoon hits Xiamen in late summer and early autumn more often than any other months. On the average, about one typhoon lands in or among 100 km of Xiamen each year since 1956. The typhoon landed on Aug. 23, 1959 was the strongest in Xiamen with maximum instantaneous wind speed of 60 meters per second. (The instrument was damaged since the limit speed was above the value that the instrument can measure at that time). According to historical records, Xiamen mainly affected by typhoon during the month of August, and the intensity this month could be stronger, the second is the month of July and September. The earliest typhoon so far has been monitored throughout the year is that landing in May 17, 1974 and the latest one is that in Dec. 3, 2004. The strongest typhoon hit Xiamen since the foundation was the Super Typhoon Meranti landing in Xiang’an district costal area.
【Resources】Xiamen is rich in aquatic resources and there are almost 2,000 known marine species, of which 157 are common fish with economic value, 89 are mollusks, 127 are crustaceans and 139 are algae. Both the amphioxus and the Chinese White Dolphin are known as National class I protected animals, and the horseshoe crab is the key protected rare animal in Fujian. There is a shortage of metal mineral resources in Xiamen, and the already found minerals are thorium, iron, manganese, copper, tungsten, lead, titanium, molybdenum and zinc. Granite and grit material are Xiamen’s important non-metallic mineral resources, widely distributed with large reserveand high economic value. Granite landform and sandy beaches are also important tourism resources in Xiamen. Other non-metallic minerals with a high value of exploitation also include kaolin, refractory clay, tile brick clay, etc. Since Xiamen is an island surrounded by the sea, the fresh water is scarce on the island. 80% of daily water used for life is supplied by the Jiulong River and the city’s multi-year average amount of water resource is 1.247 billion cubic meters, with per capita water resources of 513 cubic meters. It has been found that there are 14 hot springs spots or thermal abnormal points, and the water temperature is usually from 50 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius, with a maximum of 90 degrees Celsius. The total mining volume allowable is 33,002 m3/day. The carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, metasilicic acid, fluorine, bromine, radon and other chemical components in the water have high potential for development and utilization.
【City Flower, City Tree & City Bird】In October 1986, the 23rd Session of the Standing Committee of the 8th Municipal People's Congress decided that the bougainvillea be the city flower, the phoenix wood be the city tree and the egret be the city bird of Xiamen.