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San Luis Valley and Sangre de Cristo Range, Colorado

37.7N 105.8W

July 30th, 2010 Category: Mountains

USA - June 20th, 2010

USA - June 20th, 2010

In this image of the state of Colorado, USA, an area of irrigated agriculture can be observed in the San Luis Valley, the green-dotted area surrounded by light tan terrain near the bottom center. Upon opening the full image, many individual fields are visible, a number of which are circular in shape.

The mountain range just northeast of these fields, running diagonally northwest to southeast, is the Sangre de Cristo  (Blood of Christ) Range. It is a narrow range of the Rocky Mountains running along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift in southern Colorado.

At the foot of the range, between it and the San Luis Valley, is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The 85,000 acre (340 km², 130 mi²) park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America.

Sangre de Cristo Range and Sand Dunes, Colorado USA – January 3rd, 2010

37.7N 105.6W

January 3rd, 2010 Category: Image of the day

USA - December 14th, 2009

USA - December 14th, 2009

The Sangre de Cristo Range cuts diagonally across the upper part of this orthorectified image. It is a narrow mountain range of the Rocky Mountains running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift in southern Colorado in the United States.

The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 miles (120 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west, in which many circular fields are visible, from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east.

At the foot of the range in the lower right quadrant is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, located in the easternmost parts of Alamosa County and Saguache County, Colorado. The park has approximately 85,000 acres (340 km², 130 mi²) and contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet (230 m) from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres (77 km²).

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).

The Grand Valley Below the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA

39.0N 108.5W

October 8th, 2009 Category: Rivers

USA - September 6th, 2009

USA - September 6th, 2009

The Grand Valley is an extended populated valley, approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) wide, located along the Colorado River in Mesa County in western Colorado and Grand County, Utah, USA. It appears as a flat, dark grey area at the bottom of this orthorectified image of Colorado.

The valley contains the city of Grand Junction, as well as other smaller communities, and is the most densely populated area on the Colorado Western Slope. such as Fruita, Orchard Mesa, and Palisade. The valley is noted as a major fruit growing region, with a large number of orchards.

North of the valley, the Rocky Mountains rise to great heights. Those above the valley in the middle section of the image reach altitudes of over 8500 feet, while the parallel ridges of those towards the top are lower, at around 7500 feet.

Mountains, Circular Crops and Sand Dunes in Colorado, USA – August 28th, 2009

37.7N 105.5W

August 28th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

USA - July 27th, 2009

USA - July 27th, 2009

The terrain of this orthorectified image of southern Colorado, USA, contains an interesting ensemble of features, including areas of mountains, sand dunes and agriculture.

Reaching across the upper part of the image is the Sangre de Cristo Range, a narrow mountain range of the Rocky Mountains that runs north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift in southern Colorado in the United States.

The mountains form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River to the east.

Upon following the range to the right edge, the dunes of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve can be seen at its western base.  The park has an area of 340 km² (130 mi²) and contains sand dunes that rise about 230 m (750 feet) from the floor of the San Luis Valley.

Moving westward through the valley, a large number of circular fields dot the landscape. This irrigated farming is not as common in other parts of the state, as much of the land is used for dryland farming or ranching.

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