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Agriculture in California’s Central Valley, USA – November 26th, 2012

37.7N 122.4W

November 26th, 2012 Category: Image of the day

USA – November 25th, 2012

Visible in this image is California’s Central Valley, a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the state. The valley stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from northwest to southeast inland and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast.¬†It covers an area of approximately 22,500 square miles (58,000 km2), making it slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia and about 13.7% of California’s total area.

Its northern half is referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley. The Sacramento Valley receives about 20 inches of rain annually, but the San Joaquin is very dry, often semi-arid desert in many places. This difference in dryness is suggested by the greener color of the northern half, and the more extensive presence of agricultural areas.

The two halves meet at the huge Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, which along with their tributaries drain the majority of the valley. The Delta is a large expanse of interconnected canals, streambeds, sloughs, marshes and peat islands.

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