To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. This largest member of the ray family, about 15 feet across, flew through the water some 50 feet beneath the surface.
Paper maps are no longer available. Topographic maps of the sea floor. Detailed depth contours provide the size, shape and distribution of underwater features.
Along with the nearby island of Cozumel, this is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. Dubbed the Mayan Riviera, you will find diving on the Mesoamerican reef and even an underwater art museum. However, on the other side of Mexico along the Pacific Ocean, you will also find outstanding diving.
The Gulf of California, one of the most intriguing places I have worked, is home to deeply interesting and fascinating seafloor habitats. In this actively rifting, young ocean basin, the East Pacific Rise extends to the northwest along a meandering path of faults and fissures, ultimately transitioning to the San Andreas Fault on land. Sediment is delivered to the Gulf of California by six rivers. Organic rich sediment packages hundreds of meters thick lie atop the hydrothermal spreading center.
This canyon has remained unexplored but its depth and proximity to the coast lead scientists to believe that it likely plays an important role in the local productivity and richness that make Cabo Pulmo such a special place. The team aims to explore this unique canyon using remotely operated vehicles ROVs equipped with cameras and acoustic equipment to map the seafloor and the species that reside in the depths. The team will travel up and down the coastline adjacent to and above the canyon, tracing the seafloor with acoustic beams to detail the structure of the canyon seafloor.
It is the largest such submarine canyon along the West coast of the North American continent, and was formed by the underwater erosion process known as turbidity current erosion. Many questions remain unresolved regarding the exact nature of its origins, and as such it is the subject of several ongoing geological and marine life studies being carried out by scientists stationed at the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institutethe Moss Landing Marine Laboratoriesand other oceanographic institutions. The canyon's depth and nutrient availability due to the regular influx of nutrient-rich sediment provide a habitat suitable for many marine life forms.
Scripps researchers are mapping the Gulf of California seafloor to document the formation of a new ocean basin. Baja California was part of mainland Mexico until about 10 million years ago when the opposing forces created by the separation of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates caused the Baja peninsula to break away from mainland Mexico. This plate boundary, better known as the southern extension of the San Andreas Fault system, shifted, causing the crust to stretch thin and sink inside the continent.
Baja California is a peninsula in northwestern Mexico, where coyotes live in the mountains and cactuses prevail in the reddish soil desert. La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur state, located at the south end of the peninsula and our dive cruise trip starts from here. Diving points are all in the Sea of Cortez, in between the peninsula and Mexican mainland.