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Posts tagged Coastal Ranges

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.

The Southern Tip of California’s Central Valley

May 7th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

California, USA - May 6th, 2009

California, USA - May 6th, 2009

The Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. It is home to many of California’s most productive agricultural efforts, many of whose fields create green and brown checks in the image.

The valley stretches approximately 400 miles (600 km) from north to south. The southern half  is known as the San Joaquin Valley; this image focuses on the southernmost end.

The flatness of the valley floor contrasts with the rugged hills or gentle mountains that are typical of most of California’s terrain.

It is bounded by several mountain ranges, including the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Tehachapi Mountains to the south, and the Coastal Ranges to the west.