Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Mexico, Pacific Coast

  • Mario Gutiérrez-Estrada
  • Mario Arturo Ortiz-Perez
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_27


The Pacific coastline of Mexico is about 6,500 km long, including the coasts of Baja California. The northern part of Mexico has a warm temperate climate, becoming arid in Baja California and Sonora under the influence of NE trade winds. To the south the climate becomes tropical, with high rainfall (about 2,000 mm/year) in the coastal fringe. Ocean swell comes in to the Pacific coast, but the NE trade winds blow offshore. There are occasional hurricanes.

This coast is subject to seasonal changes in the direction of wave approach and resulting longshore drifting. In winter (October–March) NW waves generate southeastward drifting, while in summer (April–September) SW waves generate northward drifting. Tide ranges are larger (0.8–1.6 m) during the solstices, and reduced (0.2–0.4 m) in the equinoxes. Tide ranges increase into the Gulf of California – Bahia San Quentin has 1.4 m, Puerto San Bartolomé 2.5 m, the Gulf of Cal­ifornia La Paz has 1.3 m and Santa Rosalia 1.4 m. To...


Pacific Coast Coastal Lagoon Tectonic Unit Continental Collision Tectonic Uplift 
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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