Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Mexico, Caribbean Coast

  • Mario Gutiérrez-Estrada
  • Mario Arturo Ortiz-Perez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_43


The Caribbean coast of Mexico is about 2,300 km long. The NE trade winds blow onshore from the Caribbean and produce waves on the Mexican coast. There are occasional hurricanes.

Tide ranges are smaller than on the Pacific coast. On the Gulf Coast Campeche has a mean tide range of 0.3 m, Veracruz 0.5 m, Tuxpan 0.9 m and Tampico 0.4 m.

The Caribbean coast is classified as a marginal sea (Inman and Nordstrom 1971; Carranza et al. 1975), and includes the low-lying Yucatan Peninsula. This passes westward to a coastal plain with broad Quaternary alluvial terraces, which varies in width from almost zero where the San Andres Tuxtla and Jalapa highlands reach the coast to about 150 km near the major rivers. It is backed by the Sierra Madre foothills. The continental shelf is wide off Tabasco out to the Campeche Banks, and narrows from Veracruz to Tampico.

The eastern shore of the gently rolling, karstic Yucatan Peninsula is irregular and indented by bays backed by extensive swamps....


Coral Reef Coastal Plain Yucatan Peninsula Caribbean Coast Shallow Lagoon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Gutiérrez-Estrada
    • 1
  • Mario Arturo Ortiz-Perez
    • 1
  1. 1.Ciudad UniversiteriaMexico City