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Posts tagged Great Basin

Southern California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico – December 24th, 2009

31.7N 114.7W

December 24th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

This image stretches from the southern half of the California Central Valley, USA, in the upper left quadrant, to El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, in Baja California, Mexico, in the lower right quadrant. In between the two, the Colorado River spills tan sediments around Montague Island into the Sea of Cortes, also known as the Gulf of California.

Several mountain ranges can also be observed, including the Sierra Nevada Range, which bounds the California Central Valley to the east, the Tehachapi Mountains, south of the valley.

East of the Sierra Nevada ranges lies the large desert of the Intermontane Plateaus a large, arid desert. The southern portion of this region, known as the Great Basin, contains salt flats, drainage basins, and many smaller mountain ranges running north to south.

Lakes Near California-Nevada Border, USA

March 12th, 2009 Category: Lakes

California, USA - March 10th, 2009

California, USA - March 10th, 2009

Arid tan terrain near the Nevada-California border, USA, gives way to the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains, which slope down into the fertile green San Joaquin Valley and finally to the Pacific Ocean.

The moutainous land in the upper right quadrant is interrupted by several dark blue lakes. At the very top is Pyramid Lake, an endorheic salt lake, approximately 188 square miles (487 km²) in area, in the Great Basin in the northwestern part of the US state of Nevada.

One of the largest lakes in the United States, it is located along the east side of the Virginia Mountains with a surface elevation of about 3,790 feet (1,155 m). It is fed by the Truckee River, which enters the lake from its southern end. It has no outlet, with water leaving only by evaporation, or sub-surface seepage. The salinity is approximately 1/6th of sea water.

The large body of water to the South is Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada mountains along the border between California and Nevada.

Freshwater Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States. Its depth is 514 m making it the USA’s second-deepest. The lake is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.

Two smaller lakes are visible to the East: Walker Lake (above) and Mono Lake (below). The former is a natural lake, 50.3 mi² (130 km²) in area, in the Great Basin in western Nevada, along the eastern side of the Wassuk Range. It is 18 mi (29 km) long and 7 mi (11 km) wide. The lake is fed from the north by the Walker River and has no natural outlet except absorption and evaporation.

The latter, Mono Lake, is an alkaline and hypersaline lake in California that is a critical nesting habitat for several bird species and is an unusually productive ecosystem.