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Fertile California Central Valley and Nearby Desert Areas of USA and Mexico

35.2N 119.5W

December 6th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

USA and Mexico - November 17th, 2009

USA and Mexico - November 17th, 2009

The California Central Valley, bounded by the Coastal Mountain Ranges in the west, the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Cascade Range in the north and the Tehachapi Mountains in the south, is California’s agricultural heartland and grows approximately one-third of the USA’s food.

East of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada ranges lies the Intermontane Plateaus (also known as the Intermountain West), a large, arid desert. The large southern portion, known as the Great Basin, consists of salt flats, drainage basins, and many small north-south mountain ranges. The Southwest is predominantly a low-lying desert region, which continues into Baja California and the rest of northern Mexico.

This FAPAR image highlights the great contrast between the high vegetation index of the California Central Valley and surrounding mountains, and the low photosynthetic activity of the desert areas.

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