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The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an
ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning "water" and wikt:λόγος, λόγος, "lógos" meaning "study") ...

ocean basin
and a
marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Water distribution on Earth, Earth's w ...
of the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, largely surrounded by the
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
n continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the
Gulf Coast of the United States The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States The southern United States, also known as the American South, the southern states, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural List of regions of th ...
; on the southwest and south by the
Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...

Mexican
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...

states
of
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blank1_ ...

Tamaulipas
,
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mex ...

Veracruz
,
Tabasco Tabasco (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tabasco ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tabasco), is one of the Political divisions of Mexico, 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into Municipalities of Tabasco, 17 municipalities ...
,
Campeche Campeche (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Campeche ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Campeche), is one of the 31 states which make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the ...

Campeche
,
Yucatan
Yucatan
, and
Quintana Roo Quintana Roo ( , ), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Quintana Roo), is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blan ...

Quintana Roo
; and on the southeast by
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
. The
U.S. states In the United States, a state is a Federated state, constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territor ...
of
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, ...

Texas
,
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a in the region of the , bordered to the north by ; to the east by ; to the south by the ; to the southwest by ; and to the northwest by . Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the . Mississippi is the and ...
,
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmin ...

Alabama
, and
Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the north by , to the east by and , and to the south by the and ; it is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and ...

Florida
, which border the Gulf on the north, are often referred to as the "
Third Coast Third Coast is an American colloquialism used to describe coastal regions distinct from the East Coast and the West Coast of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Am ...
" of the United States (in addition to its Atlantic and
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. T ...

Pacific
coasts). The Gulf of Mexico took shape approximately 300 million years ago as a result of
plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written L ...
.Huerta, A.D., and D.L. Harry (2012) ''Wilson cycles, tectonic inheritance, and rifting of the North American Gulf of Mexico continental margin.'' Geosphere. 8(1):GES00725.1, first published on March 6, 2012, The Gulf of Mexico basin is roughly oval in shape and is approximately wide. Its floor consists of
sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...

sedimentary rock
s and recent sediments. It is connected to part of the Atlantic Ocean through the
Florida Straits 250px, The Straits of Florida The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait ( es, Estrecho de Florida) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water ...
between the U.S. and Cuba, and with the
Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
via the
Yucatán Channel The Yucatán Channel or Straits of Yucatán (Spanish language, Spanish: ''Canal de Yucatán'') is a strait between Mexico and Cuba. It connects the Yucatán Basin of the Caribbean Sea with the Gulf of Mexico. It is just over wide and nearly deep ...
between Mexico and Cuba. Because of its narrow connection to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf experiences very small
tidal ranges
tidal ranges
. The size of the Gulf basin is approximately 1.6 million km2 (615,000 sq mi). Almost half of the basin consists of shallow continental-shelf waters. The volume of water in the basin is roughly (). The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important offshore petroleum-production regions in the world, making up one-sixth of the United States' total production.


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
defines the southeast limit of the Gulf of Mexico as:
A line joining
Cape Catoche Cabo Catoche or Cape Catoche, in the Mexican state The states of Mexico are first-level administrative territorial entities of the country of Mexico, which officially is named United Mexican States Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan language ...
Light () with the Light on Cape San Antonio in Cuba, through this island to the meridian of 83°W and to the Northward along this meridian to the latitude of the South point of the
Dry Tortugas The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys The Florida Keys are a coral Corals are marine invertebrates within the class (biology), class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They ...
(24°35'N), along this parallel Eastward to Rebecca Shoal (82°35'W) thence through the shoals and
Florida Keys The Florida Keys are a coral island, coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost part of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about south of ...
to the mainland at the eastern end of
Florida Bay Florida Bay is the bay located between the southern end of the Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is t ...
and all the narrow waters between the Dry Tortugas and the mainland being considered to be within the Gulf.


Geology

The consensus among geologistsSalvador, A. (1991) ''Origin and development of the Gulf of Mexico basin'', in A. Salvador, ed., p. 389-444, The Gulf of Mexico Basin: The Geology of North America, v. J., Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.Stern, R.J., and W.R. Dickinson (2010
''The Gulf of Mexico is a Jurassic backarc basin.''
Geosphere. 6(6):739–754.
who have studied the geology of the Gulf of Mexico is that before the Late
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology, paleontologists, and other earth ...

Triassic
, the Gulf of Mexico did not exist. Before the Late Triassic, the area now occupied by the Gulf of Mexico consisted of dry land, which included continental crust that now underlies
Yucatán Yucatán (, also , , ; yua, Yúukatan ), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Yucatán,; yua, link=no, Xóot' Noj Lu'umil Yúukatan. is one of the 32 states which comprise the political divisions of Mexico, Federal Entities of Mexico. I ...
, within the middle of the large supercontinent of
Pangea Pangaea or Pangea () was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology) ...

Pangea
. This land lay south of a continuous mountain range that extended from north-central Mexico, through the Marathon Uplift in West
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, ...

Texas
and the
Ouachita Mountains The Ouachita Mountains (), simply referred to as the Ouachitas, are a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges wi ...

Ouachita Mountains
of
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New ...
, and to
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmin ...

Alabama
where it linked directly to the
Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Mountains, often called the Appalachians, are a mountain range, system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians first formed roughly 480 million years ago during the Ordovician, Ordovician Period. They once reache ...

Appalachian Mountains
. It was created by the collision of continental plates that formed Pangea. As interpreted by Roy Van Arsdale and Randel T. Cox, this mountain range was breached in Late
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
times by the formation of the
Mississippi Embayment The Mississippi Embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily l ...
.Van Arsdale, R. B. (2009) ''Adventures Through Deep Time: The Central Mississippi River Valley and Its Earthquakes.'' Special Paper no. 455, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado. 107 pp.Cox, R. T., and R. B. Van Arsdale (2002) ''The Mississippi Embayment, North America: a first order continental structure generated by the Cretaceous superplume mantle event.'' Journal of Geodynamics. 34:163–176. Geologists and other Earth scientists agree in general that the present Gulf of Mexico basin originated in Late Triassic time as the result of
rifting In geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over ...
within Pangea. The rifting was associated with zones of weakness within Pangea, including sutures where the
Laurentia Image:North america craton nps.gif, upright=1.4, Laurentia, also called the North American craton Laurentia or the North American Craton is a large continental craton that forms the Geology of North America, ancient geological core of North Ameri ...
, South American, and African plates collided to create it. First, there was a Late Triassic-Early
Jurassic The Jurassic ( ) is a Geological period, geologic period and System (stratigraphy), stratigraphic system that spanned from the end of the Triassic Period million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period, approximately Mya. The J ...
phase of rifting during which
rift valley A rift valley is a linear shaped lowland between several Highland, highlands or mountain ranges created by the action of a geologic rift. Rifts are formed as a result of the pulling apart of the lithosphere due to extensional tectonics. The ...
s formed and filled with continental
red beds Red beds (or redbeds) are sedimentary rocks, typically consisting of sandstone Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of grain size, sand-sized (0.0625 to 2 mm) silicate mineral, silicate grains. Sandstones make up abou ...
. Second, as rifting progressed through Early and Middle Jurassic times, the continental crust was stretched and thinned. This thinning created a broad zone of transitional crust, which displays modest and uneven thinning with block faulting, and a broad zone of uniformly thinned transitional crust, which is half the typical thickness of normal continental crust. It was at this time that rifting first created a connection to the Pacific Ocean across central Mexico and later eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. This flooded the opening basin to create the Gulf of Mexico as an enclosed marginal sea. While the Gulf of Mexico was a restricted basin, the subsiding transitional crust was blanketed by the widespread deposition of
Louann Salt The Louann Salt is a widespread evaporite formation that formed in the Gulf of Mexico during the Callovian in the mid Jurassic. The Louann formed in a rift as the South American Plate, South American and North American Plates separated, from an emba ...
and associated
anhydrite Anhydrite, or anhydrous calcium sulfate Calcium sulfate (or calcium sulphate) is the inorganic compound with the formula CaSO4 and related hydrates. In the form of γ-anhydrite (the anhydrous form), it is used as a desiccant. One particular hyd ...

anhydrite
evaporite An evaporite () is a water-soluble Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid or gaseous chemical substance called ''solution, solute'' to dissolve in a solid, liquid or gaseous solvent. The solubility of a substance fundamentally depend ...
s. During the Late Jurassic, continued rifting widened the Gulf of Mexico and progressed to the point that
sea-floor spreading Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcano, volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge. History of study Earlier theories by Alfred Wegener and Alexander ...
and formation of
oceanic crust The oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of the tectonic plates This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust i ...
occurred. At this point, sufficient circulation with the Atlantic Ocean was established that the deposition of Louann Salt ceased.Buffler, R. T., 1991, ''Early Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Basin'', in D. Goldthwaite, ed., pp. 1–15, Introduction to Central Gulf Coast Geology, New Orleans Geological Society, New Orleans, Louisiana.Galloway, W. E., 2008, ''Depositional evolution of the Gulf of Mexico sedimentary basin.'' in K.J. Hsu, ed., pp. 505–549, The Sedimentary Basins of the United States and Canada, Sedimentary Basins of the World. v. 5, Elsevier, The Netherlands. Seafloor spreading stopped at the end of Jurassic time, about 145–150 million years ago. During the Late Jurassic through Early Cretaceous, the basin occupied by the Gulf of Mexico experienced a period of cooling and subsidence of the crust underlying it. The subsidence was the result of a combination of crustal stretching, cooling, and loading. Initially, the combination of crustal stretching and cooling caused about of tectonic subsidence of the central thin transitional and oceanic crust. Because subsidence occurred faster than sediment could fill it, the Gulf of Mexico expanded and deepened.Sawyer, D. S., R. T. Buffler, and R. H. Pilger, Jr., 1991, ''The crust under the Gulf of Mexico basin'', in A. Salvador, ed., pp. 53–72, The Gulf of Mexico Basin: The Geology of North America, v. J.,
Geological Society of America The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences. History The society was founded in Ithaca, New York, in 1888 by Alexander Winchell, John J. Stevenson, Charles Henry Hitchco ...
,
Boulder, Colorado The City of Boulder is the Home Rule Municipality Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized gover ...

Boulder, Colorado
.
Later, loading of the crust within the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal plain by the accumulation of kilometers of sediments during the rest of the
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
and all of the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
further depressed the underlying crust to its current position about below sea level. Particularly during the Cenozoic, thick
clastic wedgeIn geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes b ...
s built out the continental shelf along the northwestern and northern margins of the Gulf of Mexico. To the east, the stable Florida platform was not covered by the sea until the latest Jurassic or the beginning of Cretaceous time. The Yucatán platform was emergent until the mid-Cretaceous. After both platforms were submerged, the formation of
carbonates In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its natural form as a crystallinity, crystalline min ...
and
evaporites evaporated from the Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot" ...
has characterized the geologic history of these two stable areas. Most of the basin was rimmed during the Early Cretaceous by carbonate platforms, and its western flank was involved during the latest Cretaceous and early
Paleogene The Paleogene ( ; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geologi ...
periods in a compressive deformation episode, the
Laramide Orogeny The Laramide orogeny was a time period of mountain building in western North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the nort ...
, which created the
Sierra Madre Oriental The Sierra Madre Oriental () is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North Amer ...
of eastern Mexico. In 2002 geologist Michael Stanton published a speculative essay suggesting an for the Gulf of Mexico at the close of the
Permian The Permian ( ) is a and which spans 47 million years from the end of the Period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Era; the following Triassic Period belongs to the Era. The c ...
, which could have caused the
Permian–Triassic extinction event The Permian–Triassic extinction event, also known as the P–Tr extinction, the P–T extinction, the End-Permian Extinction, and colloquially as the Great Dying, formed the boundary between the Permian The Permian ( ) is a geologic period ...
.Stanton, M. S., 2002
''Is the Gulf's Origin Heaven Sent?''
AAPG Explorer (Dec. 2002) American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Tulsa Oklahoma.
However, Gulf Coast geologists do not regard this hypothesis as having any credibility. Instead they overwhelmingly accept plate tectonics, not an asteroid impact, as having created the Gulf of Mexico as illustrated by papers authored by Kevin Mickus and others. This hypothesis is not to be confused with the
Chicxulub Crater The Chicxulub crater () is an impact crater An impact crater is an approximately circular depression (geology), depression in the surface of a planet, natural satellite, moon, or other solid body in the Solar System or elsewhere, formed by t ...

Chicxulub Crater
, a large impact crater on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula. Increasingly, the Gulf of Mexico is regarded as a
back-arc basin Back-arc basins are geologic Structural basin, basins, submarine features associated with island arcs and subduction zones. They are found at some convergent boundary, convergent plate boundaries, presently concentrated in the western Pacific Ocean ...
behind the Jurassic Nazas Arc of Mexico. In 2014 Erik Cordes of
Temple University Temple University (Temple or TU) is a state-related public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a dif ...

Temple University
and others discovered a
brine pool A brine pool, sometimes called an underwater, a deepwater lake, or a brine lake, is a volume of collected in a seafloor depression. The pools are dense bodies of water that have a that is three to eight times greater than the surrounding ocea ...

brine pool
below the gulf's surface, with a circumference of and feet deep, which is four to five times saltier than the rest of the water. The first exploration of the site was unmanned, using
Hercules Hercules (, ) is the Roman equivalent of the Greek divinity, divine hero Heracles, son of Jupiter (mythology), Jupiter and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventur ...
and in 2015 a team of three used the
deep submergence vehicle A deep-submergence vehicle (DSV) is a deep-diving manned submarine upright=1.35, Russian ''Akula''-class submarine of the Northern Fleet A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, ...
. The site cannot sustain any kind of life other than
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
,
mussel Mussel () is the used for members of several families of s, from saltwater and habitats. These groups have in common a shell whose outline is elongated and asymmetrical compared with other edible clams, which are often more or less rounded or ...

mussel
s with a
symbiotic relationship Symbiosis (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...

symbiotic relationship
, tube worms and certain kinds of
shrimp Shrimp are Decapoda, decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group ...

shrimp
. It has been called the "Jacuzzi of Despair". Because it is warmer than the surrounding water ( compared to ), animals are attracted to it, but cannot survive once they enter it. Today, the Gulf of Mexico has the following seven main areas: * Gulf of Mexico basin, which contains the Sigsbee Deep and can be further divided into the continental rise, the Sigsbee Abyssal Plain, and the Mississippi Cone. * Northeast Gulf of Mexico, which extends from a point east of the
Mississippi River Delta The Mississippi River Delta is the confluence of the Mississippi River with the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana, southeastern United States. The river delta is a area of land that stretches from Vermilion Bay (Louisiana), Vermilion Bay on the wes ...
near
Biloxi Biloxi (; ) is a city and one of two county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public ad ...
to the eastern side of
Apalachee Bay Apalachee Bay is a bay in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico occupying an indentation of the Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of o ...
. * South Florida Continental Shelf and Slope, which extends along the coast from Apalachee Bay to the
Straits of Florida 250px, The Straits of Florida The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait ( es, Estrecho de Florida) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. M ...

Straits of Florida
and includes the Florida Keys and
Dry Tortugas The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys The Florida Keys are a coral Corals are marine invertebrates within the class (biology), class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They ...
*
Campeche Bank 300px Campeche Bank is part of the Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North America North America is a continent entirely ...
, which extends from the Yucatán Straits in the east to the
Tabasco Tabasco (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tabasco ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tabasco), is one of the Political divisions of Mexico, 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into Municipalities of Tabasco, 17 municipalities ...
Campeche Basin in the west and includes Arrecife Alacran. *
Bay of Campeche The Bay of Campeche ( es, Bahía de Campeche), or Campeche Sound, is a bight in the southern area of the Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, ...

Bay of Campeche
, which is an isthmian
embayment A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a Gulf (geography), gulf, sea, sound (geography), sound, or bight (geogr ...
extending from the western edge of Campeche Bank to the offshore regions just east of the port of
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Me ...
. * Western Gulf of Mexico, which is located between Veracruz to the south and the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte and as the Río Bravo, is one of the principal river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another r ...

Rio Grande
to the north. * Northwest Gulf of Mexico, which extends from Alabama to the Rio Grande.


History


Pre-Columbian

As early as the Maya Civilization, the Gulf of Mexico was used as a trade in Maya civilization, trade route off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and present-day
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mex ...

Veracruz
.


Spanish exploration

Although the Spanish voyage of Christopher Columbus was credited with the discovery of the Americas by Europeans, the ships in his four voyages never reached the Gulf of Mexico. Instead, the Spanish sailed into the Caribbean around Cuba and Hispaniola. The first alleged European exploration of the Gulf of Mexico was by Amerigo Vespucci in 1497. Columbus is purported to have followed the coastal land mass of Central America before returning to the Atlantic Ocean via the Straits of Florida between
Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the north by , to the east by and , and to the south by the and ; it is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and ...

Florida
and Cuba. However, this first voyage of 1497 is widely disputed and many historians doubt that it took place as described. In his letters, Vespucci described this trip, and once Juan de la Cosa returned to Spain, a Map of Juan de la Cosa, famous world map, depicting Cuba as an island, was produced. In 1506, Hernán Cortés took part in the conquest of Hispaniola and Cuba, receiving a large estate of land and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous slaves for his effort. In 1510, he accompanied Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, an aide of the governor of Hispaniola, in his expedition to conquer Cuba. In 1518 Velázquez put him in command of an expedition to explore and secure the interior of Mexico for colonization. In 1517, Francisco Hernández de Córdoba (discoverer of Yucatán), Francisco Hernández de Córdoba discovered the Yucatán Peninsula. This was the first European ethnic groups, European encounter with Mesoamerican civilizations, an advanced civilization in the Americas, with solidly built buildings and a complex social organization which they recognized as being comparable to those of the Old World; they also had reason to expect that this new land would have gold. All of this encouraged two further expeditions, the first in 1518 under the command of Juan de Grijalva, and the second in 1519 under the command of Hernán Cortés, which led to the Spanish exploration, military invasion, and ultimately settlement and colonization known as the Conquest of Mexico. Hernández did not live to see the continuation of his work: he died in 1517, the year of his expedition, as the result of the injuries and the extreme thirst suffered during the voyage, and disappointed in the knowledge that Diego Velázquez had given precedence to Grijalva as the captain of the next expedition to Yucatán. In 1523, Ángel de Villafañe sailed toward Mexico City but was shipwrecked en route along the coast of Padre Island, Texas, in 1554. When word of the disaster reached Mexico City, the viceroy requested a rescue fleet and immediately sent Villafañe marching overland to find the treasure-laden vessels. Villafañe traveled to Pánuco and hired a ship to transport him to the site, which had already been visited from that community. He arrived in time to greet García de Escalante Alvarado (a nephew of Pedro de Alvarado), commander of the salvage operation, when Alvarado arrived by sea on July 22, 1554. The team labored until September 12 to salvage the Padre Island treasure. This loss, in combination with other ship disasters around the Gulf of Mexico, gave rise to a plan for establishing a settlement on the northern Gulf Coast to protect shipping and more quickly rescue castaways. As a result, the expedition of Tristán de Luna y Arellano was sent and landed at Pensacola Bay on August 15, 1559. On December 11, 1526, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V granted Pánfilo de Narváez a license to claim what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States, known as the Narváez expedition. The contract gave him one year to gather an army, leave Spain, be large enough to found at least two towns of 100 people each, and garrison two more fortresses anywhere along the coast. On April 7, 1528, they spotted land north of what is now Tampa Bay. They turned south and traveled for two days looking for a great harbor the master pilot Miruelo knew of. Sometime during these two days, one of the five remaining ships was lost on the rugged coast, but nothing else is known of it. In 1697, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville sailed for France and was chosen by the Minister of Marine to lead an expedition to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi River and to colonize
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Louisiana
which the English coveted. Iberville's fleet sailed from Brest on October 24, 1698. On January 25, 1699, Iberville reached Santa Rosa Island in front of Pensacola founded by the Spanish; he sailed from there to Mobile Bay and explored Massacre Island, later renamed Dauphin Island. He cast anchor between Cat Island (Mississippi), Cat Island and Ship Island; and on February 13, 1699, he went to the mainland, Biloxi, with his brother Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. On May 1, 1699, he completed a fort on the north-east side of the Bay of Biloxi, a little to the rear of what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This fort was known as Fort Maurepas or Old Biloxi. A few days later, on May 4, Pierre Le Moyne sailed for France leaving his teenage brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, as second in command to the French commandant.


Geography

The Gulf of Mexico's eastern, northern, and northwestern shores lie along the US states of Florida, Alabama,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a in the region of the , bordered to the north by ; to the east by ; to the south by the ; to the southwest by ; and to the northwest by . Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the . Mississippi is the and ...
, Louisiana, and Texas. The US portion of the Gulf coastline spans , receiving water from 33 major rivers that drain 31 states. The Gulf's southwestern and southern shores lie along the Mexican states of
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blank1_ ...

Tamaulipas
,
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mex ...

Veracruz
,
Tabasco Tabasco (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tabasco ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tabasco), is one of the Political divisions of Mexico, 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into Municipalities of Tabasco, 17 municipalities ...
,
Campeche Campeche (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Campeche ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Campeche), is one of the 31 states which make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the ...

Campeche
, Yucatán (state), Yucatán, and the northernmost tip of
Quintana Roo Quintana Roo ( , ), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Quintana Roo), is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City ) , blank1_name_sec1 = Human Development Index, HDI , blan ...

Quintana Roo
. The Mexican portion of the Gulf coastline spans 1,743 miles (2,805 km). On its southeast quadrant, the Gulf is bordered by Cuba. It supports major American, Mexican and Cuban fishing industries. The outer margins of the wide continental shelves of Yucatán and Florida receive cooler, nutrient-enriched waters from the deep by a process known as upwelling, which stimulates plankton growth in the euphotic zone. This attracts fish, shrimp, and squid. River drainage and atmospheric fallout from industrial coastal cities also provide nutrients to the coastal zone. The Gulf Stream, a warm Atlantic Ocean current and one of the strongest ocean currents known, originates in the gulf, as a continuation of the Caribbean Current-Yucatán Current-Loop Current system. Other circulation features include the anticyclonic gyres which are shed by the Loop Current and travel westward where they eventually dissipate and a permanent cyclonic gyre in the Bay of Campeche. The Bay of Campeche in Mexico constitutes a major arm of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the gulf's shoreline is fringed by numerous bays and smaller inlets. A number of rivers empty into the gulf, most notably the Mississippi River and the Rio Grande in the northern gulf, and the Grijalva River, Grijalva and Usumacinta River, Usumacinta rivers in the southern gulf. The land that forms the gulf's coast, including many long, narrow barrier islands, is almost uniformly low-lying and is characterized by marshes and swamps as well as stretches of sandy beach. The Gulf of Mexico is an excellent example of a passive margin. The continental shelf is quite wide at most points along the coast, most notably at the Florida and Yucatán Peninsulas. The shelf is exploited for its petroleum, oil by means of offshore drilling rigs, most of which are situated in the western gulf and in the Bay of Campeche. Another important commercial activity is fishing; major catches include Lutjanus campechanus, red snapper, amberjack, tilefish, swordfish, and various grouper, as well as
shrimp Shrimp are Decapoda, decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group ...

shrimp
and crabs. Oysters are also harvested on a large scale from many of the bays and sounds. Other important industries along the coast include shipping, petrochemical processing and storage, military use, paper manufacture, and tourism. The gulf's warm water temperature can feed powerful Atlantic hurricanes causing extensive human death and other destruction as happened with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the Atlantic, a hurricane will draw up cool water from the depths and making it less likely that further hurricanes will follow in its wake (warm water being one of the preconditions necessary for their formation). However, the Gulf is shallower; when a hurricane passes over the water temperature may drop but it soon rebounds and becomes capable of supporting another tropical storm. The Gulf is considered aseismic; however, mild tremors have been recorded throughout history (usually 5.0 or less on the Richter magnitude scale). Earthquakes may be caused by interactions between sediment loading on the sea floor and adjustment by the crust.


2006 earthquake

On September 10, 2006, the United States Geological Survey, U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center reported that a magnitude 6.0 earthquake occurred about west-southwest of Anna Maria, Florida, around 10:56 am Eastern Time Zone, EDT. The quake was reportedly felt from Louisiana to Florida in the Southeastern United States. There were no reports of damage or injuries. Items were knocked from shelves and seiches were observed in swimming pools in parts of Florida.United States Geological Survey, September 11, 2006
The earthquake was described by the USGS as an intraplate earthquake, the largest and most widely felt recorded in the past three decades in the region. According to the September 11, 2006 issue of ''The Tampa Tribune'', earthquake tremors were last felt in Florida in 1952, recorded in Quincy, Florida, Quincy, northwest of Tallahassee, Florida, Tallahassee.


Maritime boundary delimitation agreements

Cuba and Mexico: Exchange of notes constituting an agreement on the Boundary delimitation, delimitation of the exclusive economic zone of Mexico in the sector adjacent to Cuban maritime areas (with map), of July 26, 1976. Cuba and United States: Maritime boundary agreement between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba, of December 16, 1977. Mexico and United States: Treaty to resolve pending boundary differences and maintain the Rio Grande and Colorado River as the international boundary, of November 23, 1970; Treaty on maritime boundaries between the United States of America and the United Mexican States (Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean), of May 4, 1978, and Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States on the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Western Gulf of Mexico beyond , of June 9, 2000. On December 13, 2007, Mexico submitted information to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) regarding the extension of Mexico's continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Mexico sought an extension of its continental shelf in the Western Polygon based on international law, UNCLOS, and bilateral treaties with the United States, in accordance with Mexico's domestic legislation. On March 13, 2009, the CLCS accepted Mexico's arguments for extending its continental shelf up to into the Western Polygon. Since this would extend Mexico's continental shelf well into territory claimed by the United States, however, Mexico and the U.S. would need to enter a bilateral agreement based on international law that delimits their respective claims.


Shipwrecks

A ship now called the ''Mardi Gras'' sank around the early 19th century about off the coast of Louisiana in of water. She is believed to have been a privateer or trader. The shipwreck, whose real identity remains a mystery, lay forgotten at the bottom of the sea until it was discovered in 2002 by an oilfield inspection crew working for the Okeanos Gas Gathering Company (OGGC). In May 2007, an expedition, led by Texas A&M University and funded by OGGC under an agreement with the Minerals Management Service (now BOEM), was launched to undertake the deepest scientific archaeological excavation ever attempted at that time to study the site on the seafloor and recover artifacts for eventual public display in the Louisiana State Museum. As part of the project educational outreach Nautilus Productions in partnership with BOEM, Texas A&M University, the Florida Public Archaeology Network and Veolia Environmental produced a one-hour HD documentary about the project, short videos for public viewing and provided video updates during the expedition. Video footage from the ROV was an integral part of this outreach and used extensively in the ''Mystery Mardi Gras Shipwreck'' documentary. On July 30, 1942, the ''Robert E. Lee'', captained by William C. Heath, was torpedoed by the . She was sailing southeast of the entrance to the Mississippi River when the explosion destroyed the #3 hold, vented through the B and C decks and damaged the engines, the radio compartment and the steering gear. After the attack she was under escort by USS ''PC-566'', captained by Lieutenant Commander Herbert G. Claudius, en route to New Orleans. ''PC-566'' began dropping depth charges on a sonar contact, sinking ''U-166''. The badly damaged ''Robert E. Lee'' first listed to port then to starboard and finally sank within about 15 minutes of the attack. One officer, nine crewmen and 15 passengers were lost. The passengers aboard ''Robert E. Lee'' were primarily survivors of previous torpedo attacks by German U-boats. The wreck's precise location was discovered during the C & C Marine survey that located the ''U-166''. The German submarine ''U-166'' was a German Type IXC submarine, Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's ''Kriegsmarine'' during World War II. The submarine was laid down on December 6, 1940 at the Seebeckwerft (part of Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG, Deschimag) at Bremerhaven, Wesermünde (modern Bremerhaven) as yard number 705, launched on November 1, 1941 and commissioned on March 23, 1942 under the command of ''Oberleutnant zur See'' Hans-Günther Kuhlmann. After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla, ''U-166'' was transferred to the 10th U-boat Flotilla for front-line service on June 1, 1942. The U-boat sailed on only two war patrols and sank four ships totalling . She was sunk on July 30, 1942 in Gulf of Mexico. In 2001 the wreck of ''U-166'' was found in of water, less than from where it had attacked ''Robert E. Lee''. An archaeological survey of the seafloor before the construction of a natural gas pipeline led to the discoveries by C & C Marine archaeologists Robert A. Church and Daniel J. Warren. The sonar contacts consisted of two large sections lying approximately apart at either end of a debris field that indicated the presence of a U-boat.


Biota

Various biota include chemosynthetic communities near cold seeps and non chemosynthetic communities such as
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
and other micro – benthos, meiofauna, macrofauna, and megafauna (larger organisms such as crabs, sea pens, crinoids, demersal fish, cetaceans, and the extinct Caribbean monk seal) are living in the Gulf of Mexico.Minerals Management Service Gulf of Mexico OCS Region (November 2006). "Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2007–2012. Western Planning Area Sales 204, 207, 210, 215, and 218. Central Planning Area Sales 205, 206, 208, 213, 216, and 222. Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Volume I: Chapters 1–8 and Appendices". U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, New Orleans. page 3-27–3-3
PDF
Recently, resident Bryde's whales within the gulf were classified as an endemic, unique subspecies and making them as one of the most endangered whales in the world. The Gulf of Mexico yields more finfish, shrimp, and shellfish annually than the Southern United States, south and Mid-Atlantic states, mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake, and New England areas combined. The Smithsonian Institution Gulf of Mexico holdings are expected to provide an important baseline of understanding for future scientific studies on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In Congressional testimony, Dr. Jonathan Coddington, Associate Director of Research and Collections at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, provides a detailed overview of the Gulf collections and their sources which Museum staff have made available on an online map. The samples were collected for years by the former Minerals Management Service (renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) to help predict the potential impacts of future oil/gas explorations. Since 1979, the specimens have been deposited in the national collections of the National Museum of Natural History.


Pollution

The major environmental threats to the Gulf are agricultural runoff and oil drilling. There are frequent "Algal bloom#Red tides, red tide" algae blooms that kill fish and marine mammals and cause respiratory problems in humans and some domestic animals when the blooms reach close to shore. This has especially been plaguing the southwest and southern Florida coast, from the Florida Keys to north of Pasco County, Florida. In 1973 the United States Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the dumping of undiluted chemical waste by manufacturing interests into the Gulf and the military confessed to similar behavior in waters off Horn Island (Mississippi), Horn Island. The Gulf contains a Hypoxia (environmental), hypoxic Dead zone (ecology), dead zone that runs east-west along the Texas-Louisiana coastline. In July 2008, researchers reported that between 1985 and 2008, the area roughly doubled in size. It was in 2017, the largest ever recorded. Poor agricultural practices in the northern portion of the Gulf of Mexico have led to a tremendous increase of nitrogen and phosphorus in neighboring marine ecosystems, which has resulted in algae blooms and a lack of available oxygen. Occurrences of masculinization and estrogen suppression were observed as a result. An October 2007 study of the Atlantic croaker found a disproportioned sex ratio of 61% males to 39% females in hypoxic Gulf sites. This was compared with a 52% to 48% male-female ratio found in reference sites, showing an impairment of reproductive output for fish populations inhabiting hypoxic coastal zones. Microplastics within semi-enclosed seas like the Gulf have been reported in high concentrations and the Gulf's first such study estimated concentrations that rival the highest globally reported. There are 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells beneath the Gulf. These have generally not been checked for potential environmental problems.


''Ixtoc I'' explosion and oil spill

In June 1979, the ''Ixtoc I'' oil platform in the Bay of Campeche suffered a blowout (well drilling), blowout leading to a catastrophic explosion, which resulted in a Ixtoc I oil spill, massive oil spill that continued for nine months before the well was finally capped. This was ranked as the largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico until the ''Deepwater Horizon'' oil spill in 2010.


''Deepwater Horizon'' explosion and oil spill

On April 20, 2010, the ''Deepwater Horizon'' oil platform, located in the Mississippi Canyon about off the Louisiana coast, suffered a catastrophic explosion; it sank a day and a half later. It was in the process of being sealed with cement for temporary abandonment, to avoid environmental problems. Although initial reports indicated that relatively little oil had leaked, by April 24, it was claimed by BP that approximately of oil per day were issuing from the wellhead, about below the surface on the ocean floor. On April 29, the U.S. government revealed that approximately per day, five times the original estimate, were pouring into the Gulf from the wellhead. The resulting oil spill, oil slick quickly expanded to cover hundreds of square miles of ocean surface, posing a serious threat to Marine biology#Lifeforms, marine life and adjacent Salt marsh, coastal wetlands and to the livelihoods of Gulf Coast shrimpers and fishermen. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice O'Hare stated that the US government will be "employing booms, skimmers, chemical dispersants and controlled burns" to combat the oil spill. By May 1, 2010, the oil spill cleanup efforts were underway but hampered by rough seas and the "tea like" consistency of the oil. Cleanup operations were resumed after conditions became favorable. On May 27, 2010, The USGS had revised the estimate of the leak from to 12,000– an Deepwater Horizon oil spill#Spill flow rate, increase from earlier estimates. On July 15, 2010, BP announced that the leak stopped for the first time in 88 days. In July 2015 BP reached an $18.7bn settlement with the US government, the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, as well as 400 local authorities. To date, BP's cost for the clean-up, environmental and economic damages and penalties has reached $54bn.


Minor oil spills

According to the National Response Center, the oil industry has thousands of minor accidents in the Gulf of Mexico every year.


''Brutus'' oil spill

On May 12, 2016, a release of oil from subsea infrastructure on Royal Dutch Shell, Shell's ''Brutus'' oil rig released 2,100 barrels of oil. This leak created a visible oil slick in the sea about south of Port Fourchon,
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Louisiana
, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.


See also

* Charlotte Harbor (estuary), an estuary in Florida * Green Canyon, a US Gulf of Mexico petroleum exploration area *
Gulf Coast of the United States The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline along the Southern United States The southern United States, also known as the American South, the southern states, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural List of regions of th ...
* Gulf of Mexico Foundation * Jack 2 (a test well in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico) * Keathley Canyon, a US Gulf of Mexico petroleum exploration area * Nepheloid layer * Orca Basin * Outer Continental Shelf * Sigsbee Escarpment, a US Gulf of Mexico petroleum exploration area * Territorial evolution of the Caribbean


References


External links


Resource Database for Gulf of Mexico Research

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science

Mystery Mardi Gras Shipwreck
* *
Bathymetry of the Northern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean East of Florida
United States Geological Survey
The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe
written by Thomas Kitchin, 1778, in which Kitchin discusses, in chapter 1, why the Gulf should have been called the "West Indian Sea."
BP Oil Spill
NPR {{DEFAULTSORT:Gulf Of Mexico Gulf of Mexico, Bodies of water of Alabama Bodies of water of Florida Bodies of water of Louisiana Bodies of water of Mississippi Bodies of water of Texas Gulfs of Mexico Gulfs of the Atlantic Ocean Gulfs of the United States Landforms of Campeche Landforms of Tabasco Landforms of Tamaulipas Landforms of Veracruz Landforms of Yucatán Marginal seas of the Atlantic Ocean Mexico–United States border