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)
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)
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)

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)

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)

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)

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)
Wikipedia is not a church, religious BS has no place in an educational setting. (talk) 07:55, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
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)
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)


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

Done. knoodelhed 16:19, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


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

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. Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).