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Laguna de Tampamachoco
Laguna de Tampamachoco is located in the state of Veracruz. It connects with the Tuxpan River on the south side, which in turn empties into the gulf. The region is characterized by a north wind, dry and rainy season. The lagoon has five hydrological areas that are defined by temperature and salinity, which are the characteristic with the widest range throughout time and space in the lagoon. The north wind season lasts from November to February, the dry season covers the months of March and April and the rainy season ranges from May to October.
The first hydrological area of the lagoon, called Estero de la Mata, makes 6% of the total water body. Average temperatures range from 21.7 to 25.1degrees Celsius during the different seasosn, and average salinity ranges from 22.8 to 31.4 ppt. The second hydrological area makes 24% of the main body, with temperatures and salinities ranging from 22.2 to 28.7 degrees Celsius and 25.8 to 33.3 ppt, respectively. The third area, southwest of the main body, represents 20% of the total water body, and registers average temperatures and salinities of 23.8 to 30.2 degrees Celsius and 23.0 to 32.0 ppt, respectively. The fourth area, west of the main body, makes 20% of the main lagoon, with average temperatures throughout the seasons ranging from 23.6 to 29.2 degrees Celsius and average salinities of 29.6 to 32.3 ppt. The fifth area, located southwest of the lagoon, represents 30% of the waters and it registers average temperatures and salinities of 23.6 to 29.3 degrees Celsius and 25.9 to 31.4 ppt, respectively. The salinity of the regions throughout the various seasons is a consequence of evaporation and precipitation. Fifty percent of the water temperature depends on the surrounding air temperature. The winds mix the water body generating currents that reach 8.1 m/s, 6.5 m/s and 7.5 m/s during the north wind, dry and rainy seasons respectively.
The floristic composition of the Tampamachoco’s mangrove is represented by Rizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Concarpus erectus. The “Draga Quemada” or third area, hosts the tallest trees with average heights of 9 meters, whereas the first area hosts trees averaging 6 meters in height.
The fish community in Tampamachoco is represented by a vast variety, mainly marine euryhaline and estuarine species like Arius melanopus, Bairdiella ronchus, Diapterus olisthostomus and D. rhombeus, which represent 70% of the population.
As other lagoons, estuaries and rivers in the Gulf of Mexico, Tampamachoco is subject to pollution problems primarily due to its location, since industries demand great volumes of water for their daily operations, making the waters of the gulf their main provider while freeing other water bodies in the country for human consumption and agricultural purposes.
Coordinates: 21.00° N 97.35° W
Selected Characteristics: (Castaneda and Contreras, 2001)
Surface Area: 15 km2
Average Salinity: 22.8-33.3 ppt
Castaneda 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, Hydrological region, Season, Contamination, Fish, Mangrove, Wind, Precipitation, Evaporation
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