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Rio Grande, White Sands and Lava Flows in New Mexico, USA

33.5N 106W

April 20th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Rivers, Volcanoes

USA - April 17th, 2012

The Rio Grande can be seen flowing down the left side of this image, in the state of New Mexico, USA. Visible to the east of the river are the White Sands National Monument, is a protected area of glistening white sands rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin that contains the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. The dark line with thick ends north of the White Sands is the Carrizozo Malpais, a 75 kilometer long area of basaltic lava flows.

White Sands and Carrizozo Malpais Lava Flow Between Rio Grande and Pecos River, USA

32.8N 106.3W

January 12th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Rivers, Volcanoes

USA - December 26th, 2010

The Rio Grande flows southward, more or less vertically, across the middle of this image of the western USA, focusing on the state of New Mexico. In the full image, the Pecos River can be seen as a faint line running parallel to the Rio Grande. The two rivers join further south near Del Rio.

Also of note is the white patch near the image center. It is a 710-km² (275-mi²) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals, the southern part of which is known as the White Sands National Monument.

Just north of the white sands is the Carrizozo Malpais, a large lava flow that appears as a brownish line with thicker bulbs on its northern and southern extremes.

USA-Mexico Border Along Rio Grande and Marte R. Gomez Reservoir

26.0N 98.2W

December 10th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA and Mexico - December 6th, 2010

This APM image focuses on part the USA-Mexico border, located along the Rio Grande River (visible as a curving line crossing the center of the full image).

The orange area just north of the river is composed of various cities and towns in Texas, including McAllen in Hidalgo County. Just across the river from McAllen is the Mexican city of Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas. The two cities are connected by a bridge.

Visible on the left side of the image is the Marte R. Gomez Reservoir, also known as Sugar Lake. The completion of the El Cuchillo Dam upstream in 1994 on the San Juan River has helped to keep water levels in the lake high.

Deforestation Between Río Grande and Río Piray near Santa Cruz, Bolivia

17.7S 63.1W

July 5th, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Mountains, Rivers

Brazil - April 16th, 2010

Brazil - April 16th, 2010

Several rivers flow down from the foothills of the Andes Mountains and across a wide plain in Bolivia. The most prominent are the Río Grande (or Río Guapay), the widest visible, and the Río Piray, parallel to the former, left.

The Río Grande rises on the southern slope of the Sierra de Cochabamba. At its source it is known as the Río Rocha and crosses the Cochabamba valley basin in a westerly direction. After 65 km the river turns southeast and after another 50 km joins the Río Arque at an elevation of 2.350 m.

From this junction the river is given the name Río Caine for 162 km and continues to flow in a southeasterly direction, before it is called Río Grande. After a total of 500 km the river turns northeast and in a wide curve flows round the lowland city of Santa Cruz. The city, however, is located nearer to the banks of the Río Piray, and is easily spotted as a circular tan area.

The rest of the valley is dotted with small towns. Square and rectangular agricultural fields can be seen all around. Much deforestation is also present, easily identifiable by its typical herringbone pattern.

Rio Grande and Elephant Butte Reservoir, New Mexico USA

33.2N 107.1W

January 15th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - December 14th, 2009

USA - December 14th, 2009

The upper Rio Grande flows southward on a vertical axis through the center of this orthorectified image. The river runs through the Rio Grande rift, a rift valley extending from Mexico to Colorado.

The lake along the river’s course towards the bottom of the image is the Elephant Butte Reservoir. The reservoir, impounded by Elephant Butte Dam, is part of the Rio Grande Project for hydroelectric power and irrigation. The reservoir, which is the largest in the state of New Mexico, can hold 2,065,010 acre-feet (2,547,152,330 m³) of water.

Upon opening the full image, another lake is visible to the south: Caballo Lake. Smaller than its northern neighbor, it is nonetheless the fourth largest reservoir in New Mexico by surface area and the fifth largest by volume. The upper area of the lake is very shallow and in recent years has been blocked from the lower, deeper end of the lake.

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