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Browse All : Images of Gulf of California

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International Space Sta...
2007-01-22 0:0:0
 
Description ISS006-E-51456 (2003) --- Marias Islands, Mexico is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition Six crewmember on the International Space Station. The view shows the land-sea interactions along a section of Mexico's west coast just south of Mazatlan and the Isla Marias archipelago. The islands are a manifestation of intersecting plate boundaries -- the East Pacific Rise spreading center that traces south from the Gulf of California, and the subduction zone that consumes the Cocos plate beneath southern Mexico. These islands are biologically important: they comprise the Islas Marias Biosphere Reserve and contain endemic species of raccoons and rabbits, and important habitat for birds and marine life. Between the islands and the mainland, swirling surface currents are highlighted by the sun glint reflecting off the ocean surface. Along the Mexican coast, water flows out from a coastal lagoon, and near shore currents carry sediment (light colored water) along the beach front.
International Space Sta...
2005-12-28 0:0:0
 
Description ISS012-E-07151 (5 November 2005) --- Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 12 crewmember on the international space station. The built-up areas of the Cabo (cape) San Lucas stand out as bright, angular areas inland from the main bay on the tip of the Baja California peninsula. The town is centered on the bay, which looks out onto the blue waters of the Gulf of California. Three dry river beds (white sands in this arid environment) descend from rugged, wooded hills to the coastline. Rivers sands then accumulate to form white beaches visible along the coastline adjacent to the city. Cabo San Lucas (current population 41,000) is a tourist hotspot known for its mild sunny winter weather, and is frequented mainly by visitors from around the world. New neighborhoods are spreading north and northwest along major roads, and larger developments stretch northeast along the coast for 40 kilometers from Cabo San Lucas to the slightly larger city of San Jos? del Cabo (not visible).
International Space Sta...
2006-05-31 0:0:0
 
Description ISS013-E-16599 (9 May 2006) --- Wave sets and tidal currents in the Gulf of California are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the International Space Station. In this image, sunglint off the Gulf of California gives the water a silver-gray appearance rather than the usual azure blue color. The sunglint allows us to see several active features which would not be visible otherwise. In this view of Punta Perihuete, Mexico we can see three major features: biological or man-made oils floating on the surface; the out-going tidal current; and complex wave patterns. The oils on the surface are recognizable as light grey, curved and variable-width streamers shaped by the local winds and currents. Plankton, fish, natural oil seeps and boats dumping bilges are all potential sources for these oils.
International Space Sta...
2007-11-14 0:0:0
 
Description ISS015-E-07928 (13 May 2007) --- Isla San Lorenzo and Isla Las Animas are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 15 crewmember on the International Space Station. Located in the northern Gulf of California, Isla (island) San Lorenzo and Isla Las Animas -- part of the Midriff Islands -- record geologic processes involved in the creation of the Baja California peninsula over several hundred million years, according to scientists. A geologist walking along the 17-kilometer long central ridge of Isla San Lorenzo from the southeastern to the northwestern end would first encounter Cretaceous granitic rock in the southeastern third of the island (light tan, center left). The central third of the island is comprised mainly of older Paleozoic metamorphic rocks (brown, center; directly above "Isla San Lorenzo"). Together, these very old rocks form the crystalline "basement" of the island. The northwestern third of Isla San Lorenzo, and much of adjacent Isla Las Animas, is composed of much more recent volcanic and marine sedimentary rocks (yellow-brown to light brown, center right). According to scientists, these rocks were formed by volcanoes and fissure eruptions in and around basins in the growing Gulf of California between 5-8 million years ago. The islands themselves were formed as a result of uplift of crustal blocks along the southeastward-trending San Andreas Fault. This image illustrates the largely pristine nature of these islands. The islands are located in the rain shadow of mountains on the Baja Peninsula to the west, and arid conditions prevail through much of the year. The scarcity of water has limited human presence on the islands, and allowed flora and fauna unique to each island (known as endemic species) to flourish -- particularly reptiles. The islands are also home to colonies of seabirds and seals, both of which take advantage of deep productive waters adjacent to the eastern Baja coast. Shallow waters and high levels of nutrients can also lead to blooms of green phytoplankton; two such blooms can be seen along the coastline of Isla Las Animas (center right, in north and west-facing embayments). Surface water patterns around the islands -- enhanced by sunlight reflectance off the water surface -- are due to wind- and current-induced roughness (silver-gray regions). Regions of dark blue water are indicative of calm surface conditions, or the presence of oils and surfactants that decrease surface tension.
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