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American Mediterranean Sea

The American Mediterranean Sea is the combined waterbody of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The American Mediterranean’s surface area is 4.319 million square kilometers and an average depth of 7,270 feet.

The basins of the sea include those of the southern Caribbean: The Venezuelan, the Magdalena River, the two Colombians and the Gulf of Darien; and the Yucatan Basin. It also consists of the Mexican and the Mississippi basin, both of the Gulf of Mexico.

The sea is considered to be one of the oceanic marginal seas. In addition to a number of small islands, small and large groups of islands and islets, it includes the large islands of Cuba, which borders the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean; of Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola. All of these islands are amongst the West Indian islands that divide the American Mediterranean from the Atlantic.

Between the islands, the American Mediterranean Sea consists of the following straits: The Florida Straits, the passage of the winds, the Mona Passage, the Dominica passage to Martinique passage, the Anegada Passage to Guadeloupe Passage, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. Within the Mediterranean, the Straits of Yucatan to the Gulf of Mexico connect with the Caribbean. And through the Panama Canal, which was constructed in the 20th century, it’s connected to the Pacific.

The sea drains about 6,200,000 square kilometers in North America and Caribbean South America; it’s the second largest sea watershed. The watershed is dependent on South American water bodies much like the Magdalena River with 257,440 square kilometers, as well as the Guajira Peninsula and the Gulf of Venezuela. Central American drainages include those of the Belize River, Caratasca Lagoon, Nicaraguan Caribbean Lowlands, Gulf of Honduras, and the Colorado River in Costa Rica. In North America, the sea mainly drains near the Mississippi River basin of 3,202,230 square kilometers, to the east of the Continental Divide of the Americas, while it drains about 610,000 square kilometers from the Rio Grande and 198,000 square kilometers from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Image Caption: Satellite pictures, from NASA World Wind Globe. Credit: ILA-boy/Wikipedia

American Mediterranean Sea


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