YEARBOOK OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PACIFIC COAST GEOGRAPHERS Volume 8 VEGETATION OF NORTHERN MEXICO* Forrest Shreve Desert Laboratory, Carnegie Institution, Tucson, Arizona The topography of Mexico north of the Tropic of Cancer is simple in its general pattern but complicated in many of its details. The Eastern and Western Sierra Madre Mountains, which lie parallel to the coasts, rise to maximum elevations of about 3000 m. and dominate the topography, determine the drainage, influence the climate and fundamentally affect the distribution of the vegetation. Narrow piedmont and coastal plain areas skirt the coasts of the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. The broad central plateau rises irregularly from the Rio Grande to elevations of 1700 to 2300 m., its drainage being either into the Rio Grande or into enclosed basins. The peninsula of Baja California has an irregular mountain axis and only small areas of coastal plain. The climate of northern Mexico is mild in its temperatures and arid or semi-arid. The lightly forested areas are visited only by seasonal rains and are semi-arid in many of their biological features. Only in the highest mountains and in favored localities on the coasts are mesic conditions found.
Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 1, 1942
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