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Posts tagged Colorado Plateau

The Grand Canyon and Lake Powell, USA – March 19th, 2010

36.1N 113.2W

March 19th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States in Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the first national parks in the USA. The canyon is visible in the lower portion of this image, while Lake Powell is visible in the upper right quadrant.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet). 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.

While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has continued to erode and form the canyon to the point we see it as today.

Mountains of the Four Corners Region, USA – December 16th, 2009

36.9N 109.1W

December 16th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

USA - November 18th, 2009

USA - November 18th, 2009

The Four Corners is a region of the United States consisting of southwest Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona and southeast Utah. The boundaries of the four states listed above meet at one point, just left of the center of this image. It is the only such geographic point in the entire United States.

The Four Corners is part of a high Colorado Plateau. This makes the area a center for weather systems, which stabilize on the plateau then proceed eastward toward the central and mountain states. This weather system creates snow and rain fall over the central United States.

Mountain Ranges in the Four Corners include Sleeping Ute Mountains, Abajo Mountains and the Chuska Mountains. Protected areas in the Four Corners area include Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park and Monument Valley.

Also visible at the center left is the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, encompassing the area around Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon in Utah and Arizona. This national recreation area covers 1,254,429 acres (5,076 km²).

Sandstone Buttes in Northern Arizona, USA

35.3N 110.3W

November 27th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

USA - November 15th, 2009

USA - November 15th, 2009

Clusters of high sandstone buttes characterize this part of the Colorado Plateau in Navajo County, in the state of Arizona, USA. The largest buttes in this orthorectified image reach 6400 feet above the valley floor.

A butte is a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; it is smaller than mesas, plateaus, and tables. In some regions the word is used for any hill; however, in differentiating mesas and buttes, geographers use the rule that a mesa has a top wider than its height, while a butte’s top is narrower.

The buttes here are located in Navajo County, in the northern part of Arizona. The county contains parts of the Hopi Indian reservation, the Navajo Indian Reservation and Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 9,959 square miles (25,795 km²), of which, 9,953 square miles (25,779 km²) of it is land and 6 square miles (16 km²) of it (0.06%) is water.

The San Francisco Peaks, Arizona, USA

35.1N 111.6W

June 1st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Arizona, USA - May 11th, 2009

Arizona, USA - May 11th, 2009

The dry land of Arizona, in the southwestern USA, is punctuated by green forest around the city of Flagstaff near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau.

In fact, the woodlands area visible is actually the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States and the only alpine tundra environment in Arizona.

Flagstaff is also located adjacent to Mount Elden, just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona.

The San Francisco Peaks are a volcanic mountain range, the remains of an eroded stratovolcano, located in north central Arizona. The highest summit in the range, Humphreys Peak, is the highest point in the state of Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m).