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Topography of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico

17.6N 94.9W

March 5th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Mexico - December 29th, 2011

This wide-swath ASAR image shows the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an isthmus in Mexico that represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The isthmus includes the part of Mexico lying between the 94th and 96th meridians west longitude, or the southeastern parts of Veracruz and Oaxaca, including small areas of Chiapas and Tabasco. The states of Tabasco and Chiapas are east of the isthmus, with Veracruz and Oaxaca on the west.

At its narrowest point, the isthmus is 200 km (120 mi) across from gulf to gulf or 192 km (119 mi) to the head of Laguna Superior on the Pacific coast. The Sierra Madre breaks down at this point into a broad, plateau-like ridge. The northern side of the isthmus is swampy and densely covered with jungle. Visible in the upper right quadrant is the Términos Lagoon.

The Sierra Madre de Oaxaca mountains flatten out to form Chivela Pass before the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains resume to the south, so geographically the isthmus divides North America from Central America. However, the southern edge of the North American tectonic plate lies across the Motagua Fault in Guatemala, so geologically, the division between North America and Central America (on the Caribbean Plate) is much farther south than the isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Sediments by Yucatán Peninsula Coast, Mexico

17.4N 94.3W

October 26th, 2011 Category: Sediments

Mexico - October 24th, 2011

Sediments and algal growth line the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, giving it a bright greenish blue frame. The coastline to the south and the west is mostly sediment free.

Hanging over the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a small area of convection, concentrated on the northern side. The isthmus includes the southeastern parts of the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca, including small areas of Chiapas and Tabasco. The states of Tabasco and Chiapas are east of the isthmus, with Veracruz and Oaxaca to the west.

Tropical Storm Nate (15L) Could Reach Hurricane Strength Before Making Landfall Over Mexico – September 11th, 2011

22.8N 94.6W

September 11th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Nate (15L) - September 10th, 2011

Enhanced Image

Track of Tropical Storm Nate (15L) - September 10th, 2011 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 15L

At 1:00 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nate (15L) was located by an air force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft near latitude 20.1 north, longitude 94.2 west.

Nate has been moving slowly toward the west near 2 mph (4 km/h) over the past few hours. A slightly faster westward motion is expected over the next couple of days, and on the forecast track the center of Nate will reach the coast of Mexico in the warning area on Sunday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center. The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the aircraft is 1000 mb (29.53 inches). Preliminary data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Nate could be near hurricane strength as it approaches the coast of Mexico on Sunday.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Mexico from Tampico to Veracruz, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Mexico from Tampico to Punta El Lagarto. Hazards affecting land include wind, rainfall and storm surge. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area by tonight or early Sunday. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by midday Sunday.

Nate is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. A storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

Gulf of Mexico Coast from Matagorda Bay to Laguna de Tamiahua, USA and Mexico

25.6N 100.3W

June 22nd, 2011 Category: Fires, Mountains

Mexico and USA - June 20th, 2011

Popcorn clouds dot the skies near the border between Texas, USA, and eastern Mexico, near the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Numerous sediment-filled bays and lagoons can be observed along the coast, from Matagorda Bay at the top right corner to Laguna de Tamiahua at the bottom edge.

The former is a large estuary bay on the Texas coast, separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Matagorda Peninsula. The latter is a brackish lagoon in the Mexican state of Veracruz, separated from the Gulf by Cabo Rojo, a barrier of quartzite sand deposited adjacent to the coast.

Inland, slightly southwest of the center of the image, is the city of Monterrey. It lies north of the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, east of the Cerro de las Mitras mountain, and west of Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Mountain). In the full image, smoke from a fire can be observed in the mountains southeast of the city.

Cabo Rojo and Laguna de Tamiahua, Mexico

21.5N 97.3W

February 13th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Mexico - January 17th, 2011

What at first appears to be a headland protruding from the east coast of Mexico is actually a sandbar enclosing a green lagoon that is a similar color to the nearby coastal plain.

This barrier of quartzite sand deposited adjacent to the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz is Cabo Rojo (Spanish for “Red Cape”). It is located about 55 km (35 miles) south of the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas. It encloses the brackish lagoon called Laguna de Tamiahua.

As one of the few protruding features on this part of the coast, it may be regarded as the boundary between the western coasts of the Bay of Campeche and the Gulf of Mexico proper, and is frequently used by the authorities as a breakpoint for tropical cyclone warnings and watches.