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Hornos is one of the three fringing reefs that form part of the Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano, Veracruz Reef System (VRS) located off the port of Veracruz in the western Gulf of Mexico. In 1992, the Mexican government declared the system a Natural Protected Area with a National Marine Park status. Typical of fringing reefs, Hornos borders the mainland South of the Port of Veracruz, beginning at the southern breakwater that protects and limits the entrance to the port, and becoming a wide 500 m strip between the breakwater zone and Punta Hornos. Continuous dredging activities in order to maintain a central channel that provides pier access to fishermen boats have caused the lagoon to reach depths of up to 5 m.
Location on Continental Shelf: Inner-Shelf Bank
Coordinates: 19.19° N 96.12° W
Nearest Largest City: Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Width: 0.3 km
Length: 1.0 km
Maximum Depth: 3 m
Veracruz reefs especially around the port, as in the case of Hornos, have unique characteristics compared to other reefs. These reefs are in an area with high concentrations of river sediment. The location, size, scleractinian diversity, coverage and topographic complexity of the reefs are probably controlled by a dynamic interaction between turbid fresh or brackish water from rivers and currents of clear marine water.
Instituto Nacional de Ecologia (INE). 1992. DECRETO por el que se declara área natural protegida con el carácter de Parque Marino Nacional, la zona conocida como Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano. Web accessed on Feb. 2, 2004.
Tunnell, J.W., Jr. 2007. Reef Distribution (chapter 2, 9). In Tunnell, J.W. Jr., Chavez, E.O. and Withers, K. (eds) Coral Reefs of the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, 216 p.
Instituto Nacional de Ecologia INE Decreto
NOAA Fisheries. National Marine Fisheries Service
Keywords: Reef, Fringe reef, Veracruz reef system, Natural protected area, National marine park, Dredging, Scleractinian, River sediment
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To cite GulfBase, use: F. Moretzsohn, J.A. Sánchez Chávez, and J.W. Tunnell, Jr., Editors. 2013. GulfBase: Resource Database for Gulf of Mexico Research. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.gulfbase.org, 19 June 2013.
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