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Laguna de Celestun
Celestun is considered to be an estuary located on the Northern corner of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is characterized by the absence of superficial fresh water influx but an abundance of subterranean water flow, especially on the coast. This underwater source and ocean levels are the most important factors that regulate the exchange of water in the lagoon throughout the year. Wind and waves are also critical in the process, especially during the dry and North winds season. The ground in the Yucatan Peninsula is carstic and highly permeable due to the absence of rivers in the area.
The climate in the region is hot semi-arid with an annual temperature of 28.2 C, varying from 21 C in February to 35C in August, and an average precipitation level of 760 mm per year.
Celestun is one of the most important wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico, where fisheries and tourism coexist, and because of its wealth in aquatic birds and species of flora and fauna, the area was declared a protected area.
Hurricane Gilberto drastically modified the ecologic characteristics of the lagoon, but overtime, Celestum has been able to heal itself though natural mechanisms. Human impact however, poses a different challenge for the lagoon, since the short and long-term effects represent obstacles that the system can no overcome on its own.
Coordinates: 20.88° N 90.39° W
Selected Characteristics: (Castañeda and Contreras, 2001)
Surface Area: 284 km2
Castañeda L.O. and F.E. Contreras. 2001. Serie: Bibliografia Comentada sobre ecosistemas costeros mexicanos 2001. Centro de Documentacion Ecosistemas Litorales Mexicanos. Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Division C. B. S. Depto. de Hidrologia. Publicacion electronica (CD). ISBN:970-654-912-9. Mexico, D.F.
Keywords: Lagoon, Estuary, Subterranean water flow, Wetland, Hurricane Gilberto
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