Gulf of California

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California, Gulf of,


Sea of Cortés,

arm of the Pacific Ocean, c.700 mi (1,130 km) long and 50 to 130 mi (80–209 km) wide, NW Mexico; separates Baja CaliforniaBaja California
or Lower California,
peninsula, c.760 mi (1,220 km) long and from 30 to 150 mi (48–241 km) wide, NW Mexico, separating the Gulf of California from the Pacific Ocean. The peninsula is divided at lat.
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 from the Mexican mainland. The gulf is part of a depression in the earth's surface that extends inland to the Coachella Valley, S Calif. The Imperial ValleyImperial Valley,
fertile region in the Colorado Desert, SE Calif., extending S into NW Mexico. Once part of the Gulf of California, most of the region is below sea level; its lowest point is −232 ft (−71 m) at the southern shore of the Salton Sea. Receiving only c.
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 and the Salton SeaSalton Sea
, saline lake, 370 sq mi (958 sq km), northern part of the Imperial Valley, SE Calif.; 232 ft (71 m) below sea level. The area was anciently the northern part of the Gulf of California, but during the Pleistocene the Colorado River delta grew across the gulf, severing
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, once part of the gulf, have been cut off from it by the growth of the ColoradoColorado
. 1 Great river of the SW United States, 1,450 mi (2,334 km) long, rising in the Rocky Mts. of N Colo., and flowing generally SW through Colo., Utah, Ariz., between Nev. and Ariz., and Ariz. and Calif.
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 River delta. The gulf deepens from north to south; its greatest depth is c.8,500 ft (2,590 m). The coastline is irregular, with numerous islands; Tiburon, inhabited by aboriginal tribes, is the largest. Storms and tidal currents hinder navigation in the gulf. Once a rich commercial and sport fishing ground, the gulf now suffers from overfishing. The region is a developing tourist center; La Paz, Guaymas, and Mazatlán are major cities. The area was first explored in 1538 by the Spaniard Francisco de UlloaUlloa, Francisco de
, d. c.1540, Spanish explorer in Mexico. Against the orders of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, Hernán Cortés sent Ulloa to explore the Gulf of California. In 1538–39 he sailed to the head of the gulf, thus proving that lower California was a peninsula.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

California, Gulf of


a gulf of the Pacific Ocean along the western coast of North America. It is separated from the ocean by the peninsula of Lower California and is in effect a semi-enclosed sea. Length, 1, 240 km; maximum width, 220 km; area, 177, 000 sq km; average depth, 818 m. Depths increase from the head (34 m) to the mouth (3, 292 m, the greatest depth of the gulf)- There are many islands, the largest of which are Tiburon and Angel de la Guarda. The climate is subtropical. Surface currents circulate counterclockwise. Winter temperatures vary from 15°C in the northwest to 21°C in the southeast, and in the summer they rise to 28°C. The salinity of the water is 35.1-35.5 parts per thousand in the north (near the mouth of the Colorado River), diminishing to 30 parts per thousand. Tides are irregular and occur twice daily (up to 2.9 m). Fish in the Gulf of California include tuna, flounder, mackerel, and sea bass. Accumulations of Ciliata infusoria cause tinting of the water in various shades of red. The principal port is Guaymas (Mexico).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The investigation was carried out in Puerto Libertad (29[degrees] 54' 15" N 112[degrees] 40' 59" W) in the north of the Gulf of California (Fig.
Speciation and systematics of the gekkonid lizard genus Phyllodactylus of the islands of the Gulf of California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series 33:415-452.
Castro, "Temporal and spatial variation of the surface winds in the Gulf of California," Geophysical Research Letters, vol.
During June 2 to 17, 2008, 48 stations were made in the Northern Gulf of California, from 28[degrees] to 32[degrees]N and 112 to 115[degrees]W Figure 1(a)).
In both winter months (January 2007, Figure 2(a), and March 2005, Figure 3(a)), a north-south gradient of SST observed in satellite images was found in the Gulf of California (mean SST = 16.5[degrees]C in January and 20.6[degrees]C in March).
Drawing on collections and observations she made starting in 1998, the collections at the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico, and published accounts of fish species, Buckhorn, a fish ecologist, offers a field guide for recreational users and college students to the marine fish of the Gulf of California, ending at the southernmost boundary between Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California peninsula to Mazatlan on mainland Mexico.
Boosted by US donors and with the help of a few American researchers, she recruited a team of dozens of Mexican scientists to travel the Gulf of California on Mexican navy boats and undertake the first census of its more than 240 islands, a Darwinesque endeavor impelled by a modern urgency.
(C) Large volumes of water still flow into the Gulf of California today.
The few studies on trophic ecology of herbivorous fish in the Gulf of California have been carried out on indigenous species that cohabit with A.
Eucinostomus currani Zahuranec in Yanez-Arancibia, 1980 is a coastal species found from California and the Gulf of California to Northern Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Cocos Island.
The researchers suspect that the phenomenon is not restricted to the Gulf of California, but is almost certainly taking place in other sites.
Nine studies discuss ecosystem functioning of temporarily open/closed estuaries in South Africa, the paleoecological significance of diatoms in Argentinean estuaries and what they reveal about the environment, anthropogenic impacts in a protected estuary in Greece's Ambrakikos Gulf, physico-chemical characteristics of negative estuaries in the northern Gulf of California in Mexico, implications of a multi-proxy analysis using palaeodeposits for the evolution of the southwestern coast of India, human impacts on the environment of the Changjuang (Yangtze) River estuary, integrated approaches to estuarine use and protection as demonstrated in Tampa Bay, and an integrative exotoxicological assessment of contaminated sediments in a complex tropical estuarine system.