Mexico: the Yucatán Peninsula

Topics: Yucatán Peninsula, Maya civilization, Mexico Pages: 3 (1011 words) Published: February 24, 2010
The Yucatán Peninsula

The Yucatán Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, on the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The Yucatán Peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic divider separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. The Yucatán Peninsula comprises of the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo; the northern part Belize; and Guatemala's northern subdivision of El Petén. Geology

The peninsula is the exposed part of the large Yucatán Platform. The Yucatán Peninsula is an unconfined flat lying erosion landscape. Sinkholes, locally called cenotes are widespread in the northern lowlands. According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the transition from the Cretaceous (K) to the Tertiary (T) Periods (the K-T Boundary) 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact somewhere in the Caribbean Basin. The deeply buried Chicxulub Crater is centered off the north coast of the peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The now-famous "Ring of Cenotes" outlines one of the shock-waves from this impact event in the rock of ~65 millions years of age, The presence of the crater has been determined first on the surface from the Ring of Cenotes, but also by geophysical methods, and direct drilling with recovery of the drill cores. Water resources

Due to the extreme erosion nature of the whole peninsula, the northern half barely consists of any rivers. Where lakes and swamps are present, the water is marshy and is not suitable for drinking water. The thousands of sinkholes, locally called Cenotes throughout the region provide access to the groundwater system, and the cenotes have long been relied on by ancient and contemporary Mayan people. Vegetation

The short and tall tropical jungles are the predominant natural vegetation types of the Yucatán Peninsula. The boundaries between...
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