Mexico - Geography
The Republic of Mexico covers almost 2 million square km.
Almost all of Mexico is on the North American Plate, with small parts of the Baja California Peninsula in the northwest on the Pacific and Cocos Plates
The country curves from northwest to southeast, narrowing to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south and then continuing northeast to the Yucatan Peninsula. To the west and south it’s bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The Sea of Cortes lies between the mainland and Baja California , the world’s longest peninsula. Mexico ’s east coast is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico all the way from the US border to the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The eastern Peninsula faces the Caribbean Sea .
On its north, Mexico shares a 5000 km border with the United States,the border in the south and east with Guatemala is 962 km and the border to the east with Belize is 250 km. The coastline totals 9330 km.
The northernmost portion of Mexico is covered by two different deserts. The largest is the Chihuahuan desert which covers approximately 453,000 sq km and is centered between the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental mountain ranges.The Sonoran desert covers about 221,000 sq km and ranges from the majority of the Baja peninsula and the northwestern portion of the mainland.
As well as numerous neighbouring islands, Mexican territory includes the more remote Isla Guadalupe and the Islas Revillagigedo in the Pacific Ocean. Mexico's total area covers 1,972,550 square kilometers, including approximately 6,000 square kilometers of islands in the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of California. Mexico has a 9,330 kilometer coastline, of which 7,338 kilometers face the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California, and the remaining 2,805 kilometers front the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Northern and central Mexico have also have coastal plains on the east and west and two north/south mountain ranges framing a group of broad central plateaus known as the Altiplano Central. The Altiplano Central is divided into northern and central parts, themselves split by minor ranges and varies in altitude from about 1,000 m in the north to more than 2,000 m in the center of the country. The central plateau is mostly rolling hills and broad valleys and includes some of the best farm and ranch land in the country. The altiplano is bound on the east by the Sierra Madre Oriental and includes peaks as high as 3,700 m. The Gulf Coast plain is an extension of a plain in the US and is wide in the north but narrows as it nears the port of Veracruz .
South of the Altiplano Central and the two Sierra Madres, the Cordillera (mountain range) Neovolcanica runs east-west acress the country. This range includes the active volcanoes Popocatepetl (5,452 m) and Volcan de Fuego de Colima (3,960 m), as well as Mexico’s other highest peaks, Pico de Orizaba (5,611 m), Iztaccihuatl (5,286 m) and Paricutin 2,800 m.
The Pacific lowlands cover a narrow strip west of Guadalajara. The Sierra Madre del Sur stretches across Guerrero and Oaxaca to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec the narrowest part of Mexico. The north side of the isthmus is part of a wide, marshy plain stretching from Veracruz to the Yucatan Peninsula. In the southernmost states the Pacific lowlands are backed by the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, the Rio de Grijalva basin and the Chiapas highlands. Each of these highlands is a tropical rainforest area stretching into northern Guatemala.The jungle turns into a region of tropical savanna on the flat, low Yucatan Peninsula and at the tip of the peninsula, an arid desert-like region.
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