Brown pelicans have made an incredible comeback after being nearly wiped out by DDT. The Gulf of Mexico has rich natural resources, but its many users put its productive waters and fragile coastlines and reefs at risk. The Americans continued earlier patterns of growing rice, sugar, and cotton using slave labor, and New Orleans became their major gulf port. To the south and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico is bordered by Mexico. Over the centuries, people continued to use the Gulf of Mexico as a source of food and resources, as well as for navigation. It’s the 9th largest body of water in the world. Florida is the only state in the continental United States to have extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts (over 60% of coral reefs found in the US are located around the extended chain of the Hawaiian Islands). Florida and Texas were granted statehood in 1845, and the admission of Texas led to war with Mexico. Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, especially some in recent years such as Katrina, are famous for their potential for heavy damage and loss of life. Once the most abundant and important coral species in the Caribbean coral reefs, Elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals are now threatened species, declining by more than 90% since 1980. 1. ." In 1898 the American victory in the Spanish-American War gave Puerto Rico to the United States, and Cuba became an American protectorate. The Gulf of Mexico was likely formed roughly 300 million years ago when part of the ocean floor gradually sank due to plate tectonics. Here are five key facts about the oil … There is extreme variability in both current direction and speed on the continental shelf and in the coastal waters of the gulf, where currents are subjected to seasonal and annual variations caused not only by major circulation patterns but also by changes in the prevailing wind direction. On the shelf and on the slope that dips downward to the abyssal plain, buried salt domes occur at various depths; economically important deposits of oil and natural gas are associated with them. The Straits of Florida divides the Gulf from the Atlantic Ocean, while the Yucatan Channel separates it from the Caribbean Sea. Siempre 50, no. miles (1.5 million sq km), and is measured 994 miles (1,600 km) west to east, and 559 miles (900 km) north to south.Though somewhat shallow along the coastal continental shelf areas, it plunges to an (estimated) maximum depth of over 13,123 ft. (4,000 m) in the Sigsbee Deep, a flat abyss portion in the southwestern Gulf. "Mexico, Gulf of In the open gulf the salinity is comparable to that of the North Atlantic, about 36 parts per thousand. The continental shelf forms an almost continuous terrace around the margin of the gulf; its width varies from a maximum of more than 200 miles (320 km) to a minimum of about 25 miles (40 km). Sources: This Way To The Net, Soundwaves, EPA, CNN, NBII, http://www.gomr.boemre.gov, http://www.dep.state.fl.us, USA Today, Wikipedia, Defenders, ENN, 48 Facts You Should Know About the Gulf of Mexico, From Sunken Ships to Ancient Corals. An accurate count of animals killed by the spill is not possible, as BP workers appear to have been collecting an destroying animals before they were counted. Areas that will be under threat for years, even decades after the spill, include 8 U.S. national parks. Roughly half of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are shallow, covering the continental shelves. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992. The gulf is home to five species of threatened and endangered sea turtles, including Kemp's ridley sea turtles, Hawksbill sea turtles, Green sea turtles, Loggerhead sea turtles and Leatherback sea turtles. "Mexico, Gulf of It is almost surrounded by the United States and Mexico . During periods when the volume of the Mississippi’s flow is greatest, salinities as low as 14 to 20 parts per thousand occur as far as some 20 to 30 miles (30 to 50 km) offshore. Expansion along the gulf ended there, as antebellum efforts to purchase Cuba for its sugar plantations and strategic position failed. Carbon dioxide is transferred to the atmosphere in regions of upwelling. In this guide, we explain exactly where the Gulf of Mexico is and what its boundaries are, and we include a Gulf of Mexico map so you can see a visual of it. From the floor of the basin rise the Sigsbee Knolls, some of which attain heights of 1,300 feet (400 metres); these are surface expressions of the buried salt domes. Many onshore refineries and offshore drilling platforms operate in the Gulf area, and produce about a quarter of the crude oil and almost one third of the natural gas in the United States. SEDIMENT: Solid unconsolidated rock and mineral fragments that come from the weathering of rocks and are transported by water, air, or ice and form layers on Earth's surface. The Gulf of Mexico is thought to have originated about 250 million years ago with the rifting or breaking apart of the tectonic plates of North America, South America, and Africa. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site.

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