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Posts tagged Colorado Desert

Salton Sea, Gran Desierto de Altar and Mouth of Colorado River, USA and Mexico

33.2N 115.7W

October 26th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Lakes, Rivers, Sediments

USA and Mexico – October 26th, 2012

Visible in the upper left quadrant of this image is the Salton Sea, a huge but shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella Valleys.

The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff drainage systems and creeks. Visible south of the sea is irrigated land in southern California and Mexico.

In the lower right quadrant, sediments from the Colorado River can be observed spilling into the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez. The Gran Desierto de Altar, one of the major portions of the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, can also be seen extending across much of the northern border of the Gulf of California. It reaches more than 100 kilometers east to west, and over 50 km north to south, and constitutes the largest continuous wilderness area within the Sonoran Desert, as well as including the only active erg dune region in North America.

The Salton Sea, California’s Largest Lake – March 22nd, 2010

33.2N 115.7W

March 22nd, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

The Salton Sea is a saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside Counties in Southern California, near the border with Mexico.

The lake covers a surface area of approximately 376 sq mi (970 km2), 241,000+/- acres, the largest in California. While it varies in dimensions and area with changes in agricultural runoff and rain, it averages 15 mi (24 km) by 35 mi (56 km), with a maximum depth of 52 ft (16 m), giving a total volume of about 7,500,000 acre·ft (9.25 km3), and annual inflows averaging 1,360,000 acre·ft (1.68 km3).

The lake’s salinity, about 44 g/L, is greater than the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/L), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake and is increasing by about 1 percent annually.

Desert Agriculture around Salton Sea, California

March 14th, 2009 Category: Lakes

California, USA - March 10th, 2009

California, USA - March 10th, 2009

The Salton Sea is actually a saline lake below sea level, located in the arid Colorado Desert in Southern California, USA. The Imperial Valley lies below the lake.

Much agriculture can be seen in this valley, particularly to the southeast of the Salton Sea. Crops grow here despite the inhospitable desert due to irrigation water from the Colorado River, supplied to the area via canals.

Due to its complex irrigation system, this part of the Imperial Valley is called the Imperial Irrigation District. Its water distribution system includes over one hundred canal and pipeline branches.

Agriculture in California’s Desert: The Salton Sea and Imperial Valley

March 8th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Agriculture near USA-Mexico border - March 1st, 2009

Agriculture near USA-Mexico border - March 1st, 2009

The Salton Sea is an inland saline lake, occupying the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink, part of the larger Colorado Desert in Southern California, USA. To its south is the Imperial Valley, a region of southeastern California (USA).

Although this region is a desert, with high temperatures and low average rainfall of three inches (seventy-five mm) per year, the economy is heavily based on agriculture due to the availability of irrigation water, which is supplied wholly from the Colorado River via the All-American Canal.

A vast system of canals, check dams, and pipelines carry the water all over the valley, a system which forms the Imperial Irrigation District, or IID. The water distribution system includes over 1,400 miles (2,300 km) of canal and with 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of pipeline. The number of canal and pipeline branches number roughly over a hundred.

The agricultural lands, seen flourishing here, are served by a constructed agricultural drain system, which conveys surface runoff and subsurface drainage from fields to the Salton Sea, which is a designated repository for agricultural runoff.

The Salton Sea covers a surface area of approximately 376 square miles (974 km²), the largest in California. While it varies in dimensions and area due to changes in agricultural runoff and rain, it averages 15 by 35 miles (24 by 56 km), with a maximum depth of 51 feet (15.5 m), giving a total volume of about 7.5 million acre-feet (9.3 km³).

The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as a number of minor agricultural drainage systems and creeks. Sea inflow averages 1.36 million acre-feet per year (53.2 m³/s).

It is actually located below sea level, with the current surface of the Salton Sea at about 220 ft (65 m) below sea level. The deepest area of the sea is only 5 feet (1.5m) higher than the lowest point of Death Valley.

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