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Casa Blanca Lighthouse, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Tags: lighthouse (39 pics), mexico (72 pics)
Yucatán PeninsulaThe Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America.
The peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo; the northern part of the nation of Belize; and Guatemala's northern department of El Petén.
GeologyThe peninsula is the exposed portion of the larger Yucatán Platform, all of which is composed of carbonate and soluble rocks, being mostly limestone although dolomite and evaporites are also present at various depths. The whole of the Yucatán peninsula is an unconfined flat lying karst landscape. Sinkholes, locally called cenotes are widespread in the northern lowlands.
According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the transition from the Cretaceous (K) to the Tertiary (T) Periods (the K-T Boundary) 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact somewhere in the greater Caribbean Basin. The deeply buried Chicxulub Crater is centered off the north coast of the peninsula near the town of Chicxulub (see Chicxulub Crater). The now-famous "Ring of Cenotes" (visible in NASA imagery) outlines one of the shock-waves from this impact event in the rock of ~65 millions years of age, which lies more than 1 km below the modern ground surface near the centre, with the rock above the impact strata all being younger in age. The presence of the crater has been determined first on the surface from the Ring of Cenotes, but also by geophysical methods, and direct drilling with recovery of the drill cores.
PeopleThe Yucatán Peninsula comprises a significant proportion of the ancient Maya Lowlands (although the Maya culture extended south of the Yucatán Peninsula, through present Guatemala and into Honduras and highland Chiapas). There are many Maya archaeological sites throughout the peninsula; some of the better-known are Chichen Itza, Tulum and Uxmal. , Indigenous Maya and Mestizos of partial Maya descent still make up a sizable portion of the region's population, and Mayan languages are still widely spoken there.
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