Located at 14°40' N 121°3 E, Metro Manila is situated on an isthmus bounded by Laguna de Bay to the south-east and Manila Bay to the west. The metropolitan area lies on a wide flood plain composed mainly of alluvial soil deposits. The area is bounded by Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Laguna to the south and Cavite to the southwest. The swampy isthmus on which the western metropolitan area partly lies has an average elevation of 10 meters. The eastern area lies on a ridge gradually rising towards the foothills of the Sierra Madre and overlooks the Marikina River valley, which is part swamp.
The Pasig River bisects the isthmus and links the two bodies of water. From Laguna de Bay, it enters Taguig, and flows east-west through Pateros, Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong and Manila before draining in Manila Bay. Its main tributary, the Marikina River, originates in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Rodriguez to the northeast of the city. The Marikina River runs north-south and meets with the Pasig in Pateros. Traversing the course of the Marikina River is the Marikina Valley Fault System, part of the seismically active network of fault lines surrounding Metro Manila placing it at serious risk of earthquakes.
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