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Posts tagged Gulf of California

Upper Colorado River Delta in Gulf of California

31.6N 114.7W

April 27th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

Mexico – April 26th, 2013

An estuary is an inlet, or bay at the mouth of a river or stream, where the salt water from the ocean mixes with fresh water. A positive estuary is one in which the seawater component is diluted; therefore, the water is brackish, with salinity less than that of the ocean. In contrast, a negative estuary is an estuary in which the evaporation of seawater is relatively greater than that of the fresh water input.

In the Gulf of California, there are a number of negative estuaries, which possibly were previously positive. However, due to human modification of the land use around the Gulf of California and water diversion for municipal and agricultural use, there are no longer many rivers that freely empty into the Gulf of California.

The upper Colorado River Delta, visible near the image center, is one example of a historically major estuary and wetlands ecosystem, that since the 20th century construction of upriver dams and diversion aqueducts on the Colorado River, is now a small ephemeral remnant estuary.

Gran Desierto de Altar Near Gulf of California, Mexico

31.9N 114.2W

March 23rd, 2013 Category: Deserts

USA and Mexico – March 22nd, 2013

Arid landscapes are very sensitive to climate change and surface transformations. Here, one such arid area is the Gran Desierto de Altar, one of the major portions of the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, including the only active erg dune region in North America. It extends across much of the northern border of the Gulf of California, reaching 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.

Snow and Lakes in Southwestern USA

36.1N 114.4W

January 19th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Mountains

USA and Mexico – January 17th, 2013

Snow covers mountain ranges in southwestern USA, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which border the San Joaquin Valley, in southern California (upper left quadrant). The snow contrasts with the more arid land between ranges and in Mexico (lower half of image). Visible in the snow-free areas are bodies of waters such as the three-pronged Lake Mead (above center), in Arizona and Nevada, Lake Powell, surrounded by snow near the top edge, in Arizona and Utah, and the Salton Sea, in California near the Mexican border and northwest of the Gulf of California.

El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve on Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

27.3N 114.5W

December 6th, 2012 Category: Deserts

Mexico – December 4th, 2012

The green area surrounded by tan desert nested in a nook on the western side of the Baja Californina Peninsula is the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve. More precisely, it is located in Mulegé Municipality in northern Baja California Sur, at the center of the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California).

With a landmass of over 55,555 square-mile (143,600 square km) it is the largest wildlife refuge in all of Latin America and certainly the most diverse. The animals and plants of this territory have adapted themselves to the region’s extreme desert conditions with little rainfall, intense winds and an ecosystem which has produced thousands of endemic species of plants and animal life found nowhere else in the world.

Salton Sea and von Kármán Vortex Street by Baja California, Mexico and USA

27.6N 110.8W

November 26th, 2012 Category: Clouds, Lakes

USA and Mexico – November 25th, 2012

Visible near the top edge of this image, in the upper left quadrant, is the Salton Sea, a large lake in southern California, USA. Continuing south through the green Imperial Valley, one comes to the mouth of the Colorado River in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), by the start of the Baja California Peninsula.

West of the peninsula, in the lower left quadrant, a von Kármán Vortex Street can be seen in the clouds over the Pacific Ocean. The “street” is a repeating pattern of swirling vortices caused by the unsteady separation of flow of a fluid over bluff bodies – in this case, islands.

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