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Old 05-11-2004, 01:50 AM
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Are these the only "islands" in the Gulf of Mexico, what are they called?

They are shown on page 80 of my Hammond, Comparitive, New World Atlas but are not named. They appear to be located at about 23 N 89 W about a hundred miles North, off the coast of the Mexican town called Merida (located in the Yucatan). There is another groups of islands or "shoals" located about 150 miles to the South, SW in the Bahia de Campeche. Although small, these "islands" appear to be at least as large as Grand Cayman, St Kitts, or Nevis. In addition, other than possibly Dry Tortugas (which is more the Straits of Florida than the Gulf) they would be just about the only islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Do they have a name, and if so who claims them?
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:52 AM
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By the way I realize that there are many "islands" such as Padre Island which are in the Gulf of Mexico. However, they are all located within a mile or so of the shore line. What I mean is that if these are actually islands they would be the only islands a good ways out to sea.
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:26 AM
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What about Cuba? Or Hispainola (Haite/Santa Domingo)? etc. -- Is there some reason you're not counting them as islands?
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
What about Cuba? Or Hispainola (Haite/Santa Domingo)? etc. -- Is there some reason you're not counting them as islands?
Good point, but I consider Cuba to be in the Caribbean Sea rather than the Gulf. However, even if it is in the Gulf there is a great deal of "space" in the Gulf apparently without any islands (save perhaps for the ones which I reference in my post above). Actually, it seems like there should be an island somewhere around the intersection of 25N 90W the islands I reference above would only be about a 100 miles South of that perfect "centralized" location.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
What about Cuba? Or Hispainola (Haite/Santa Domingo)? etc. -- Is there some reason you're not counting them as islands?
Let's get this absolutely clear right off the bat, the Caribbean Sea is very, very, very much NOT the Gulf of Mexico.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Deschain
In addition, other than possibly Dry Tortugas (which is more the Straits of Florida than the Gulf) they would be just about the only islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Do they have a name, and if so who claims them?
I think what you're refering to are not islands but reefs, specifically the Campeche Bank Reefs. There are eight different reef systems in the area you describe, each with their own name. The largest is Arrecife Alacrán, which covers an area of about 8 x 15 miles. There are small vegitative five islands there, the largest of which hosts a manned lighthouse.

This site has a
complete map with more details on the reefs and islands in the gulf .
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:52 AM
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And as to the other part of the OP's question, these are claimed by Mexico. All of the islands and reefs in the Gulf are claimed by either the USA, Cuba, or Mexico, and in all cases the claim is held by the country on whose coast those islands and reefs are located.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Deschain
However, even if it is in the Gulf there is a great deal of "space" in the Gulf apparently without any islands (save perhaps for the ones which I reference in my post above). Actually, it seems like there should be an island somewhere around the intersection of 25N 90W the islands I reference above would only be about a 100 miles South of that perfect "centralized" location.
It's hard to do this type of discussion w/o a reference, so may I refer you to http://gulfmex.org/map.htm

If you notice both the physical relief/reef location map at the top of the page (reefs marked in orange) and the depth contour map that's second on the page (you can then DL a larger, more detailed version from NOAA) You will see that indeed the shallower continental shelf of the Yucatan peninsula almost but not quite makes it to the middle of the Gulf. The Alacrán Reefs are just about as far into the Gulf area as you can get in and have islands or cays. (BTW under the latter layers of sediment, that is where you'd find the north edge of the Xichulub formation, the presumptive impact scar of the Really Big Rock from 65M years ago).

Actually, an island in dead center of open deepwater is not the norm. Oceanic islands require volcanic/tectonic activity in the middle of the sea. Say, a long-duration volcanic hotspot, as in Hawaii, or a tectonic-plate separation or impact zone, as in Iceland. There you get rock formations that may eventually break the surface, and even if the volcanic/tectonic formation does not quite make it, or gets eroded away, if the water's warm enough corals may build upon it and emerge, as in Micronesia. If in the relief map you look south of Cuba, you see a deep undersea trench. That's where the Caribbean Plate bangs against the North America Plate and v-v. That collission creates the conditions that form the Antilles.
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