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Gran Desierto de Altar Between Salton Sea and Sea of Cortez, USA and Mexico

32.7N 115W

December 26th, 2010 Category: Deserts, Lakes, Volcanoes

Mexico - December 23rd, 2010

The large body of water in the upper left corner is the Salton Sea, a saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault in California, near the border with Mexico.

The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as a number of minor agricultural drainage systems and creeks. The green sediments in the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California) in the bottom half of the image, however, are from a different river: the Colorado River.

Between the Salton Sea and the Sea of Cortez lies the Gran Desierto de Altar, part of the Sonoran Desert. A dark brown, almost circular area can be seen in the lower part of the dune field: the Pinacate Peaks (Sierra Pinacate), a volcanic group of volcanic peaks and cinder cones.

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