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Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona Border, USA – August 14th, 2009

36.0N 114.7W

August 14th, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes

Utah, USA - July 26th, 2009

Utah, USA - July 26th, 2009

The contours of the Nevada and Arizona landscape around Lake Mead and the Colorado River appear quite sharp in this orthorectified image. Filled by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA.

However, the combination of a huge demand for Lake Mead’s water and climate change has resulted in a 100 foot drop in this large lakes’s water level since 2000. Although that may not seem to be a great deal of water loss, it is important to remember that the vast reservoir is wide at the top but narrow at the bottom. This means that the 10% drop in depth actually represents a 50% loss in volume.

This huge loss happened in just nine years – The lake went form 96 percent capacity to roughly 43 percent, as of May 2009. The US Bureau of Reclamation predicts that water levels will drop another 14 feet over the summer.

Last year, researchers at the University of California San Diego concluded that if climate change goes uncurbed and water use is not reduced, Lake Mead could dry up by the year 2021.

Snow and Lakes in Southwestern USA

36.1N 114.4W

January 19th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Mountains

USA and Mexico – January 17th, 2013

Snow covers mountain ranges in southwestern USA, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which border the San Joaquin Valley, in southern California (upper left quadrant). The snow contrasts with the more arid land between ranges and in Mexico (lower half of image). Visible in the snow-free areas are bodies of waters such as the three-pronged Lake Mead (above center), in Arizona and Nevada, Lake Powell, surrounded by snow near the top edge, in Arizona and Utah, and the Salton Sea, in California near the Mexican border and northwest of the Gulf of California.

Changing Water Levels in Lakes Mead and Powell, USA

36.0N 112.1W

November 2nd, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA – October 27th, 2012

Visible amidst the dry, rocky terrain of the western USA are lakes, rivers and gorges. By the left edge is the three-pronged Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. However, the lake has not reached this capacity in more than a decade, due to increasing droughts. It is located on the Colorado River, in the states of Nevada and Arizona.

Following the river eastward, one runs through the Grand Canyon (center) to Lake Powell (right), a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is the second largest man-made reservoir in maximum water capacity in the United States, behind its neighbor, Lake Mead. Current water levels, however, put Lake Powell ahead of Lake Mead in water volume and surface area.

Red and Pink Landscape Around Lake Powell, USA – October 1st, 2012

36.9N 111.3W

October 1st, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

USA – September 16th, 2012

Visible amidst the red and pink hues of the surrounding landscape are the dark waters of Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is the second largest man-made reservoir in maximum water capacity in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet (3.0001×1010 m3) of water when full. Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam.

Grand Canyon Between Lakes Mead and Powell, USA – February 17th, 2012

36.0N 112.1W

February 17th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

USA - January 2nd, 2012

Visible by the left edge of this image is Lake Mead, with a distinctive, 3-pronged shape. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is located on the Colorado River about 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, it extends 112 miles (180 km) behind the dam, holding approximately 28,500,000 acre feet (35.2 km3) of water

Visible further east is another large reservoir, Lake Powell. It is also located on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet (3.0001×1010 m3) of water when full. The lake was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam.

Located between the two reservoirs (best observed in full image) is the Grand Canyon, a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet / 1,800 metres). Nearly two billion years of the Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted.