Johnson, M.E.; Lin, T.-Y., and Su, S.-J., 0000. Comparison of coastal geology and subtropical storms impacting Taiwan and Mexico’s Baja California Sur around the Tropic of Cancer in the Pacific basin.

The Tropic of Cancer at 23°26′22″ arcs across the open Pacific Ocean over nearly 13,000 km between the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and the island of Taiwan off mainland China’s coast. Major storms that affect Taiwan’s east coast and Gulf of California shores on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula are tropical depressions called typhoons in Asia and hurricanes in the Americas. Taiwan is in the path of typhoons that form over the equatorial Pacific to strike east Asia annually. In 2019, Super Typhoon Lekima became the third costliest storm in east Asia, affecting not only Taiwan but also east China and the Ryukyu Islands. Late in the storm season in October 2023, Hurricane Otis became the strongest disturbance on record to strike western Mexico, with winds up to 265 km/h during a Category 5 event. Despite the enormous distance separating them, the tectonically active shores of Taiwan and the Baja California peninsula share foundational bedrock geology dominated by andesite and feature similar patterns of ongoing coastal uplift. This review covers a range of analogous aspects expressed by coastal marine geology, including fossil and modern coral reefs, fossil and modern rhodolith banks, thermal activity in the form of hot springs, and progradation of fossil and modern deltas that emerge from high-elevation drainages. The population density of the Baja California peninsula and the narrow coastal plain of eastern Taiwan is low, but people and infrastructure are affected by storms of increasing intensity under global warming. The two regions represent instructive case studies related by similar geology under comparable factors of oceanic and atmospheric circulation concentrated around the Tropic of Cancer. The two regions also show enormous potential in the development of national parks and geoparks dedicated to the promotion of geoheritage for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.

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