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Fire Southeast of Lake Chapala, in Michoacán, Mexico

20.2N 103W

March 31st, 2013 Category: Fires

Mexico – March 30th, 2013

Situated on the border between the Mexican states of Jalisco and Michoacán, at 45 kilometers south of the city of Guadalajara, is Lake Chapala (upper left quadrant). Visible southeast of the lake is a fire releasing a plume of smoke towards the south, in Michoacán. The state is crossed by the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Inter-mountain Valleys region.

Lake Chapala and Banderas Bay, Mexico

20.2N 103W

December 16th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Mexico – December 15th, 2012

Visible on the right side of this image is Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. The lake, which appears green in color here, lies in the municipalities of Chapala, Jocotepec, Poncitlán, and Jamay, in Jalisco, and in Venustiano Carranza and Cojumatlán de Régules, in Michoacán. Visible west of the lake is the Pacific Ocean, as well as Banderas Bay, appearing as a notched inlet along the coastline west of the lake.

Environmental Issues Affecting Lake Chapala, Mexico

20.2N 103W

February 13th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Mexico - January 5th, 2012

Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. It lies in the municipalities of Chapala, Jocotepec, Poncitlán, and Jamay, in Jalisco, and in Venustiano Carranza and Cojumatlán de Régules, in Michoacán. The lake is located southeast of Guadalajara, Jalisco, which is visible here as a large grey expanse.

Lake Chapala is located at 1,524 metres (5000 feet) above sea level. Its approximate dimensions are 80 km (50 mi) from east to west and averages 12.5 km (7.8 miles) from north to south, and covers an approximate area of 1,100 km2 (420 sq mi). It is a shallow lake, with a mean depth of 4.5 metres (14.9 feet) and a maximum of 10.5 (34 feet).

Environmental issues affecting the lake include increased in water consumption for drinking, erosion from deforestation and pollution. The city Guadalajara, Jalisco, has relied on Lake Chapala as a principal source of water since the 1950s. Shortly after, a few consecutive years of poor rainfall dramatically decreased the water level of the Lake. The level rebounded until 1979, when Lake Chapala’s water level rapidly began decreasing due to increases in urban water consumption.

Erosion due to deforestation along the Lake as well as the Lerma River has led to increased sedimentation of the Lake, also contributing to loss of lake depth. The shrinking depth has also raised the Lake’s average temperature, resulting in increased evaporation.

Simultaneously, the waters of Lake Chapala are polluted by municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes, coming primarily from the Lerma River. The increased presence of nutrients from the pollution combined with the warmer water has been a boon to an invasive species of Water Hyacinth. The water hyacinth further exacerbates the problem of a shrinking lake depth through its own consumption of the water.

Vegetation Index of Pacific Coast of Mexico and Islas Marías

21.6N 106.5W

February 11th, 2012 Category: Vegetation Index

Mexico - January 4th, 2012

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in the states of Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco (following the coastline from the upper left to the bottom right). The index is highest along the coastal plain, where green false-coloring indicates good levels of photosynthetic activity.

The index becomes progressively lower (yellow) as one moves further inland. A few patches of high activity (rusty red) can be observed in a marshy area near the coast, parallel to the Islas Marías (“Mary Islands”), an archipelago of four islands that belong to Mexico. They are located in the Pacific Ocean, some 100 km off the coast of the state of Nayarit and were designated a Biosphere reserve by the UNESCO. Here, they show good photosynthetic activity.

Post-tropical Cyclone Jova Causing Heavy Rainfall in Mexico

20.9N 104.6W

October 13th, 2011 Category: Tropical Storms

Post-tropical Cyclone Jova (10E) - October 12th, 2011

Enhanced image

Track of Post-tropical Cyclone Jova (10E) - October 12th, 2011 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of 10E

At 8:00 PM PDT (0300 UTC) the center of Post-tropical Cyclone Jova was located near latitude 21.7 north, longitude 104.2 west.

The post-tropical cyclone is moving toward the northeast near 5 mph (7 km/h) and a slow northeastward motion is expected until dissipation.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 30 mph (45 km/h) with higher gusts. Continued weakening is forecast, and the system should dissipate in a day or less. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

Hazards affecting land consist mainly in rainfall; the remnant of Jova is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit through Thursday.

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