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Rocas Alijos, or Escollos Alijos (English: Alijos Rocks) are a group of tiny, steep and barren volcanic islets or above-water (as well as below-water) rocks in the Pacific Ocean at . They are part of Comondú municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, and situated about 300 km west of the mainland. The total surface area is less than 1,000 square metres. The official area figure of 0.012 square kilometres (0.0046 sq mi).
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
Comondú is a municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It had a population of 70,816 inhabitants in 2010 census (INEGI). With a land area of 16,858.3 km², it is the seventh-largest municipality in area in Mexico. The municipal seat is located in Ciudad Constitución.
The group consists of three principal rocks and numerous smaller ones. South Rock, the largest of the group, is 34 meters (111 ft) high, with a diameter of only 14 meters (46 ft) (position ). Middle Rock is 18 meters (59 ft) high and about 10 meters (33 ft) in diameter. North Rock, 200 meters (656 ft) north of South Rock, is 22 meters (72 ft) high, with a diameter of 12 meters (39 ft). The rocks in between those are either submerged or so low that they are barely visible among the heavily breaking waves.[ citation needed ]
The rocks seem to be known since the early Spanish history of Mexico; they can be found on a map from 1598. The first description is from 1704, by pirate John Clipperton. But only in 1791 the first exact description was made by a Spanish sailor. South Rock was climbed for the first time in 1990 by an expedition (October 31 through November 7, 1990) under the leadership of Robert Schmieder, who edited a monograph about the rocks.
John Clipperton was an English privateer who fought against the Spanish in the 18th century. He was involved in two buccaneering expeditions to the South Pacific—the first led by William Dampier in 1703, and the second under his own command in 1719. He used Clipperton Island in the eastern Pacific Ocean as a base for his raids.
Robert William Schmieder is an American scientist and explorer. Schmieder has had a multidisciplinary career, broadly divided between physics and related physical sciences, and natural science and exploration. In most of his projects, he created and led teams of both professional scientists and volunteers. His work is documented in about 100 technical publications and 10 books. Among his most significant work was the invention of laser spark spectroscopy, the formulation of nanologic, and the concept of underwater islands.
A monograph is a specialist work of writing on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, often by a single author, and usually on a scholarly subject.
The group is located at the transition zone between two major biologic provinces, at a latitude where the Pacific Current turns westward to form the North Pacific trans-oceanic current.[ citation needed ] The rocks are nesting sites of many seabirds.[ citation needed ]
The two other Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean that are not on the continental shelf are Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Islands.
A continental shelf is a portion of a continent that is submerged under an area of relatively shallow water known as a shelf sea. Much of the shelves were exposed during glacial periods and interglacial periods.
Guadalupe Island or Isla Guadalupe is a volcanic island 250 km² and located 241 kilometres (150 mi) off the west coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula and some 400 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of the city of Ensenada in the state of Baja California, in the Pacific Ocean. The two other Mexican island groups in the Pacific Ocean that are not on the continental shelf are Revillagigedo Islands and Rocas Alijos. Guadalupe Island and its islets are the westernmost region of Mexico.
The Revillagigedo Islands or Revillagigedo Archipelago are a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, known for their unique ecosystem. They lie approximately 390 kilometres (240 mi) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, and 720 to 970 kilometres west of Manzanillo. They are located around. Technically part of the Mexican state of Colima, the islands are under Mexican federal jurisdiction.
The breeding marine avifauna of Alijos Rocks currently consists of Leach's storm-petrel (a presumed breeder, probably a few pairs), red-billed tropicbird (14 birds), masked booby (100), and sooty tern (250). The magnificent frigatebird is a regular winter visitor but probably does not breed. The Laysan albatross is currently an annual visitor to Alijos Rocks during its winter breeding season, and may start to nest there in the near future.
The red-billed tropicbird is a tropicbird, one of three closely related species of seabird of tropical oceans. Superficially resembling a tern in appearance, it has mostly white plumage with some black markings on the wings and back, a black mask and, as its common name suggests, a red bill. Most adults have that are about two times their body length, with those in males being generally longer than those in females. The red-billed tropicbird itself has three subspecies recognized, including the nominate. The subspecies mesonauta is distinguished from the nominate by the rosy tinge of its fresh plumage, and the subspecies indicus can be differentiated by its smaller size, more restricted mask, and more orange bill. This species ranges across the tropical Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The nominate is found in the southern Atlantic Ocean, the subspecies indicus in the waters off of the Middle East and in the Indian Ocean, and the subspecies mesonauta in the eastern portions of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans and in the Caribbean. It was one of the many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae.
The masked booby is a large seabird of the booby family, Sulidae. First described by French naturalist René-Primevère Lesson in 1831, the masked booby is one of six species of booby in the genus Sula. This species breeds on islands in tropical oceans, except in the eastern Atlantic; in the eastern Pacific it is replaced by the Nazca booby, Sula granti, which was formerly regarded as a subspecies of masked booby. It is also called the masked gannet or the blue-faced booby.
The sooty tern is a seabird in the family Laridae. It is a bird of the tropical oceans, breeding on islands throughout the equatorial zone.
Clipperton Island is an uninhabited 6 km2 coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central America. It is 10,677 kilometres away from Paris, France, 5,400 km from Papeete, Tahiti, and 1,081 km from Mexico. It is an overseas minor territory of France, under direct authority of the Minister of Overseas France.
The Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands is an Australian external territory comprising a volcanic group of barren Antarctic islands, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica. The group's overall size is 372 square kilometres (144 sq mi) in area and it has 101.9 km (63 mi) of coastline. Discovered in the mid-19th century, the islands have been an Australian territory since 1947 and contain the country's only two active volcanoes. The summit of one, Mawson Peak, is higher than any mountain on the Australian mainland. The islands lie on the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean.
Baja California Sur, officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California Sur, is the second-smallest Mexican state by population and the 31st admitted state of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.
Socorro Island is a small volcanic island in the Revillagigedo Islands, a Mexican possession lying some 600 kilometres (370 mi) off the country's western coast at 18°48'N, 110°59'W. The size is 16.5 by 11.5 km, with an area of 132 km2 (51 sq mi). It is the largest of the four islands of the Revillagigedo Archipelago.
The Farallon Islands, or Farallones, are a group of islands and sea stacks in the Gulf of the Farallones, off the coast of San Francisco, California, United States. The islands are also sometimes referred to by mariners as the Devil's Teeth Islands, in reference to the many treacherous underwater shoals in their vicinity. The islands lie 30 miles (48 km) outside the Golden Gate and 20 miles (32 km) south of Point Reyes, and are visible from the mainland on clear days. The islands are part of the City and County of San Francisco. The only inhabited portion of the islands is on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI), where researchers from Point Blue Conservation Science and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stay. The islands are closed to the public.
Malpelo is a small island in the East Pacific Ocean, located about 500 km (310 mi) west of the Colombian mainland. Except for a small military post that is manned by the Colombian Armed Forces, it is uninhabited. It consists of a sheer and barren rock with three high peaks, the highest being Cerro de la Mona with a height of 300 metres (980 ft). The island is about one mile in length from northeast to southwest, and 700 yards in width.
Isla Salas y Gómez, also known as Isla Sala y Gómez, is a small uninhabited Chilean island in the Pacific Ocean. It is sometimes considered the easternmost point in the Polynesian Triangle.
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a marine sanctuary located off the coast of California. It protects an area of 1,286 sq mi (3,331 km2) of marine wildlife. The administrative center of the sanctuary is on an offshore granite outcrop 4.5 sq mi (12 km2) by 9.5 sq mi (25 km2), located on the continental shelf off of California. The outcrop is, at its closest, 6 mi (10 km) from the sanctuary itself.
Schmieder Bank is a rocky bank west of Point Sur, California, roughly 25 nautical miles (46 km) south of Monterey, supporting an extraordinarily lush biological community, including very large individual colonies of the California hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus.
The Islas San Benito lie in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, 25 km west of Cedros Island. They are part of the Cedros Island delegación, a subdivision of Ensenada (municipality), Baja California.
Isla Natividad is an island in the Pacific Ocean 6 km west off Punta Eugenia, the northwestern headland of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. 200 meters off its northwestern end lies Roca María at, with an area of 0.074 km2. Isla Natividad is separated from the mainland at Punta Eugenia by Canal de Dewey, and from Cedros Island, which is 15 km to the north, by Canal de Keller.
Roca Partida ranks as the smallest of the four Revillagigedo Islands, part of the Free and Sovereign State of Colima in Mexico. This uninhabited island encompasses an extremely small area, and many divers rank it among the most beautiful in Mexico. Divers must obtain permits from the Mexican Armed Forces to enter into this military zone.
Makresh Rocks are a group of rocks situated 1.8 km (1.12 mi) northeast of Treklyano Island off the northeast coast of Robert Island, South Shetland Islands. Extending 600 m (656 yd) in west-southwest to east-northeast direction, and 270 m (295 yd) in northwest-southeast direction. The solitary Salient Rockis lying 1.73 km (1.07 mi) east of the midpoint of Makresh Rocks and 2 km (1.24 mi) northeast of Smirnenski Point.
Borojevia paracerebrum is a species of calcareous sponge in the genus Borojevia from Mexico. The species is named after its similarity to Borojevia cerebrum.
The Sailfin eel is an eel in the family Ophichthidae. It was described by Raymond Carroll Osburn and John Treadwell Nichols in 1916, originally under the genus Letharchus. It is a marine, tropical eel which is known from the eastern central Pacific Ocean, including Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama. It is known to dwell at a depth of 35 metres (115 ft), and inhabits rock and sand sediments. Males can reach a maximum total length of 81 centimetres (32 in).