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Rio Grande Rift Valley and Lakes in New Mexico, USA

33.1N 107.1W

September 2nd, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - July 27th, 2009

USA - July 27th, 2009

The Rio Grande rift is a rift valley extending north from Mexico, near El Paso, Texas, through New Mexico into central Colorado. In this orthorectified image, part of the rift valley in southern New Mexico can be observed running vertically through the image from left to center.

The upper Rio Grande flows south down the rift valley. Along its course here are two reservoirs: Elephant Butte Reservoir (above) and Caballo Lake (below).

The former is impounded by Elephant Butte Dam and is the largest reservoir in New Mexico. It is part of the Rio Grande Project, a project to provide power and irrigation to south-central New Mexico and west Texas.

The reservoir can hold 2,065,010 acre-feet (2,547,152,330 m³) of water from a drainage of 28,900 square miles (74,850 km²). It provides irrigation to 178,000 acres (720 km²) of land.

Caballo Lake, on the other hand, is the fourth largest reservoir in New Mexico in terms of surface area and the fifth largest body of water in New Mexico in terms of volume.

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