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Photo-iss006e51456
International Space Station Imagery
Marias Islands, Mexico
high res (0.7 M) low res (75 K)
ISS006-E-51456 (2003) --- Marias Islands, Mexico is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition Six crewmember on the International Space Station. The view shows the land-sea interactions along a section of Mexico's west coast just south of Mazatlan and the Isla Marias archipelago. The islands are a manifestation of intersecting plate boundaries -- the East Pacific Rise spreading center that traces south from the Gulf of California, and the subduction zone that consumes the Cocos plate beneath southern Mexico. These islands are biologically important: they comprise the Islas Marias Biosphere Reserve and contain endemic species of raccoons and rabbits, and important habitat for birds and marine life. Between the islands and the mainland, swirling surface currents are highlighted by the sun glint reflecting off the ocean surface. Along the Mexican coast, water flows out from a coastal lagoon, and near shore currents carry sediment (light colored water) along the beach front.

Curator: JSC PAO Web Team | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 10/30/2012
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