Glossary of Terms

A ring-shaped island or series of island formed by coral around a submerged volcanic structure.
A variety of short-winged diving seabirds found mostly in the northern oceans.
of or relating to birds.
Also known as back-arc basins, these are submarine features found along the edges of continental plates where the collapse of the sea floor creates a depression.
On a beach, the waves going back out to sea.
An area of highly eroded land with little vegetation.
Baja California
A peninsula in northwestern Mexico. It separates the Gulf of California from the Pacific Ocean.
A sandy bank or shoal that forms at the mouth of a river, harbor, bay or estuary.
Bar-built estuaries are formed when sandbars or barrier islands build up along the coastline by ocean currents and waves. These sandbars or barrier islands partially cut off the waters behind them from the sea, creating a protected area (in the form of a shallow lagoon or bay) fed by small streams or rivers. This type of estuary is usually shallow, with limited tidal interaction, so wind is often responsible for mixing the fresh and salt water.
A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock.

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