Mr. Burton 7.1 Notes Please grab out a blank sheet of paper and a writing utensil. Big Idea • Mexico is a large country with different natural environments in its northern, central, and southern regions. Rio Bravo • Mexico shares a long border with the southern United States. • The Río Bravo, called the Rio Grande in the U.S., runs along part of this border. • The Río Bravo is one of Mexico’s few major rivers. Bodies of Water • Bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Gulf of Mexico in the east • Stretching south from northern Mexico is a peninsula, or piece of land surrounded by water on three sides, called Baja California. • The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. Plateaus and Mountains • Much of interior is a region called the Mexican Plateau. • Two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriental in the east and the Sierra Madre Occidental in the west, are part of the Sierra Madre, or “mother range.” • The Valley of Mexico, where Mexico City is located, lies between these two ranges in the south. • The mountains south of Mexico City include volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are a threat to that region. Coastal Lowlands • The land slopes down to the coast from highlands in central Mexico. • The Gulf coastal plain is wide and flat. ▫ This region has good soils and climate for farming. • The Yucatán Peninsula is mostly flat. ▫ Erosion of limestone created caves and sinkholes that are often filled with water. Mexico’s climate and vegetation include deserts, tropical forests, and cool highlands. • The great variety of climates produces different vegetation. • Changes in elevation cause climates to vary within short distances. • The Mexican Plateau can have cool temperatures. • The southern coastal areas have warm temperatures and summer rainy seasons that support tropical forests that cover 25 percent of Mexico. • The climate in the Yucatán Peninsula is hot and dry, supporting scrub forest. • Most of northern Mexico is dry and made up of deserts and grasslands. Natural Resources • Mexico has rich natural resources. • The southern and coastal plains and the Gulf of Mexico have oil. • Mexico’s mines yield gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. • Mexico produces more silver than any other country in the world.