Talk:Gulf of California

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There is no sea between California and the Mexican mainland; there is one between Baja California and the mainland; BTW isn't that called the Gulf of California? --Maveric149 (copied from the changelog by TMC)

You may have missed it, but (a) Baja California is part of California-the-Geographical-Toponym even if some unfortunate battles in the Mexican-American War kept it from being part of California-the-United-States-State and (b) this article is precisely about that gulf... — LlywelynII 03:57, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Mav, you made two points which I will respond to separately.
First, California' can be used in both a geographical sense and a political sense, although this explanation belongs (if anywhere) in the entry for California and not for Sea of Cortez. Geographically, California consists of (from the south), the modern states of Baja California Sur, Baja California, California, and southern Oregon. Saying that the Sea of Cortez divides California from the Mexican mainland is sort of like saying that the Atlantic Ocean divides America from Europe. It is correct geographicaly, but ignores the reality of the division of California (much like the Atlantic example ignores Canada).
Having said that, most people don't understand this distinction, so the entry does read more clearly as you wrote it, and I will keep that flavor in any subsequent rewrites.
Your second point was whether the body of water should be refered to as the Sea of Cortez or the Gulf of California. Both names are in current usage today, and I can't fully explain the politics between what people choose to call the body. I will share what little I know.
Sea of Cortez is the historical name (since 1540), and is also the most common name used in popular speech and text to refer to this body of water. At some point in the twentieth century, some started referring to it as the "Gulf of California". The reasons for this are twofold. First, it is scientifically more accurate to call it a sea, although the line between a sea and a gulf is fuzzy. Second, there is a effort to remove the names of "european imperialists" from geographic place names.
For what it is worth, the Mexican government uses both terms to refer to this body of water. On a personal (and anecdotal) note, I have visited the peninsula three times, and have driven the complete length of it once. Among the rural mexicans I met "mar de cortez" was used almost exclusively, although "golfo de california" was used by the more affluent. --TMC
(obs) "Sea of Cortez" seems to be the preferred term among sportspeople (divers, fishermen, boaters) and others from within the State of California, both for those historical reasons and on account of there's really no effective direct access to the gulf from the U.S. state that doesn't involve crossing a line or two on a map. (/obs) knoodelhed 16:19, 27 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Gulf of California does not separate the US state of California from anything as the Gulf doesn't stretch into the US. So the correct way would be to say that the Gulf of California separates Baja California from mainland Mexico. --ElisabethS (talk) 18:42, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Locally used name[edit]

The name "Sea of Cortés" is the one preferred by most local residents - howcome the Mexicans prefer a name in English? That should probably be rephrased. // Habj 07:13, 17 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The local name is Mar de Cortez or Golfo de California. In my experience it is called Golfo de California while you see Sea of Cortez or Mar de Cortez when the text is directed at tourists.--ElisabethS (talk) 18:43, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Creation of Grand Canyon[edit]

I removed the sentence That event led to the creation of the Grand Canyon. [1] since this seems to controversial. According to the article Grand Canyon, there is no authoritative theory on the formation of Grand Canyon. If this is wrong, then that event should be expanded in that article, rather than here. // Habj 07:25, 17 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 5.3 million year reference should be removed too, as it reflects evolutionary dogma which is increasingly unpopular. The "young earth" concept is now advocated by tens of millions of people, including over 500 scientists.

What do You mean? feydey 01:00, 10 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is not a church, religious BS has no place in an educational setting. (talk) 07:55, 2 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've moved the 5.3 million-year info into the Geology section, and removed the phrasing that implied that that date is only believed in by "some people." Young-earth theories of the earth's origin are not taken seriously by most credentialed geologists. The "500 scientists" mentioned in the comment above may really exist, but they represent a tiny subsection of the scientific community. (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I should add that I havn't looked for a reliable source for the 5.3 million-year figure--I just moved it over from one section to another. Citing a source would probably be a good idea, though. (talk) 15:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Any bathymetry about the sea? depth, etc?? is it deep or shallow? --Kvuo 22:50, 26 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. knoodelhed 16:19, 27 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is the Colorado river the only river entering this gulf? (talk) 17:53, 31 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, several others enter from the mainland.User:Mziebell Jan. 7, 2011
The Colorado River does not "enter" the gulf, or Sea of Cortez as it were. The Colorado River actually dissappears into the ground somewhere between 25 and 50 miles from the Sea of Cortez. This lack of fresh water dumping into the Sea of Cortez, has upset the balance of nature and as a result some of the indigenous life forms no longer exist there. Alternatively, the Colorado River could go underground and perhaps ultimately reach the Sea of Cortez. Of that I have no knowledge. <ref> Google Earth
    Secondly...there is another river that flows into the Sea of Cortez, that was not mentioned in the article. Through the community of Mulege', on the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula, specifically, Baja Sur, flows the Rio de Santa Rosalia, known locally as the Mulege' River. To my knowledge, this is the only year round flowing river in Baja. <ref> personal knowledge. I live in Mulege', B.C.S. Mexico User:BCHBMZ  —Preceding undated comment added 14:25, 30 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply] 

water temp chart-not enough information in article[edit]

this article talks very little about the water temperature. it needs a chart of water temp varying by time of year and exact location(latitude). Now I have to seek this information elsewhere, thanks alot wikipedia! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point. Water temp data for the Gulf is a bit elusive. I've seen a hyrdo-isothermic map in "Island Biogeography of the Gulf" (Case et al.) I don't have my copy handy though...User:Mziebell Jan. 7, 2011


I highly doubt that the salinity of the Gulf of California is 1.3 to 2.5 ‰ unless it turned into a freshwater lake sometime in the 3 years since I've been there. A search around gave me the more realistic numbers of 35 and 35.8 at the surface. I'm editing the article to reflect this. Bradweir (talk) 23:23, 3 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wow. How'd we miss that one??? Thanks for the edit. Mziebell (talk) 15:49, 4 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Islands or Major Islands?[edit]

In the section 'Islands', the opening phrase is 'The Gulf of California contains 37 islands'. But, I wouldn't think this includes seagull island, which, though small, is still an island. This is just an example for the many small islands in the gulf of california. So should that stament be changed to 'The gulf of california contains 37 major islands? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 25 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Take a look at Islet. That may help differentiate.... Mziebell (talk) 16:34, 31 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I see. It the gulf contains probably thousands of islets, but only 37 islands. Thank you for pointing that out.

Chinese name: Eastern Red Sea[edit]

All of the Chinese names in use for the first two centuries or so after Matteo Ricci's map – with their information provided by Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese Jesuits – refers to this body of water as "The Eastern Red Sea" (東紅海, Modern Pinyin Dong Hong Hai). Now, Chinese names for Mexican places are trivial enough that it belongs on the and not here, most likely, but that use does speak to what the church and other officials were obviously calling it at the time (i.e. neither California or Cortez). Calling it "Vermilion" in English also distracts from the obvious parallel with Moses's pool.

So any sources for the history here? How official was the Red Sea name? and was the parallelism with the old Red Sea intentional (originally using similar words) or accidental (when they translate "vermilion" into Chinese)? — LlywelynII 03:57, 13 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Depth soundings in the gulf have ranged from fording depth at the estuary near Yuma, Arizona to in excess of 3000 m in the deepest parts."


The citation given for this addition was incorrect (which is why it eventually disappeared). I question why "Yuma Arizona" is mentioned at all, since Arizona doesn't even touch the gulf. "Fording depth" doesn't make sense in this context - is it saying that near the north shore of the gulf, the water isn't deep? Well, duh. Water is generally shallow where it meets the land.

I'd like to request a rewrite of this section. A google search of "gulf of california bathymetry" brings up immediate results from the USGS, NOAA, and multiple educational institutes. I do not have the background or knowledge in the subject to do this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How many islands?[edit]

This article claims there are 37 and 900 islands ("Its more than 900 islands are...", "The Gulf of California contains 37 islands"). Perhaps someone can use the content of this redirect to start a section on islands? [2] --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:26, 27 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarification and Citations[edit]

This article discusses some of the geography of the Gulf of California and while I was reading it, I noticed it mentioned that it came to be the Gulf of California when tectonic forces happened. So that people have a clear understanding, they can mention that it happened due to Pangea or the type of tectonic force that caused it to happen. Was it due to a divergent boundary or a convergent boundary? If it is any of the ones mention, explain how it happened so people can understand the geologic history of it. The article mentioned that it has ongoing volcanic activity on the island of Isla Tortuga but what is the evidence for that? It was a broad explanation but if one wants to really get to know the Gulf of Mexico they need to understand the history about it and all the geological features that come along with it. I had looked at one of the citations to learn more about one of the mentioned subjects. When I clicked on the link I was directed to a new website but it only read Spanish. Since I know how to read Spanish, I had no problem continuing my search but for those who do not read the language, it is unfair to them. The source one chooses should be accessible by all. Speaking of citations, when I was reading about the tectonic forces I clicked the link and realized that it led me to another Wikipedia page. The sources one chooses to cite should be a reliable source that has factual information and not one that is of the same exact web source. One cannot be totally sure that they are receiving the right information when the citations are not of the right kind. Mgh972103 (talk) 03:24, 3 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


While reading the article, I felt there was bias when it said "The Gulf is thought to be one of the most diverse seas on the planet...". However, I see that the information came from another source and is noted. Furthermore, the part where you talk about it being a home to more than 5000 species is distracting. Overall, it's an interesting fact, but it doesn't go well with the order you provided the information. KawaiiKoreaboo (talk) 09:41, 3 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Geology Questions[edit]

I have a couple of questions about the geology section. Could you maybe go into more depth on the subject? It seems a bit vague on subjects like earthquakes, volcanism, tectonic plates, etc. Maybe you could go into a bit more depth on those subjects? Also, it seems to lack references/sources that are reputable and allow more depth in the paragraph. Would it be possible to expand more on the paragraph and add some citations and references? Otherwise the page is done well. Mmh01 (talk) 18:32, 22 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I thought that your inclusion of the Black Demon rumor wasn't relevant to the marine life because it just an allegation it would make more sense if you were to create a new section for it. I also noticed that your geology section the information could benefit from being more detailed.SantiSacstate (talk) 18:39, 22 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evaluation Of Article[edit]

When it comes to the article as a whole, why wasn't there a section that discussed earthquakes? Volcanic activity in the geology section is discussed, therefore mentioning how often earthquakes happen would be a good addition. If information on earthquakes along the gulf were added to the geology section then it wouldn't be so concise. Another question I had was, what range does the salinity have to be in order for marine life to survive? AgKimm (talk) 18:45, 22 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

4000 km indeed![edit]

You didn't like my edit; fine. I suggested to see "coastline paradox"; perhaps spoonfeeding it will work:

But maybe you're better than all of that and have found some magical way of obtaining the "4000 km" length. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:569:57D4:600:AC12:B878:71C:B5E7 (talk) 02:31, 30 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]