Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Posts tagged Sonora

Salton Sea and Gran Desierto de Altar Near Gulf of California, USA and Mexico

33.2N 115.7W

February 22nd, 2012 Category: Deserts, Lakes

USA and Mexico - January 2nd, 2012

Visible as a navy blue area near the center of the left edge of this image of western USA and northwestern Mexico is the Salton Sea, a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial Valley. The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California.

While it varies in dimensions and area with fluctuations in agricultural runoff and rainfall, the Salton Sea averages 15 mi (24 km) by 35 mi (56 km). With an average area of roughly 525 sq mi (1,360 km2), the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. Average annual inflow is 1,360,000 acre·ft (1.68 km3), which is enough to maintain a maximum depth of 52 ft (16 m) and a total volume of about 7,500,000 acre·ft (9.3 km3).

An agricultural area can be seen south of the lake, near the edge of 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.

The Gran Desierto covers approximately 5,700 km2, most of it in the Mexican state of Sonora. The northernmost edges overlap the border into southwestern Arizona. The dominant sand sheets and dunes range in thickness from less than one meter to greater than 120 meters. The total volume of sand in the Gran Desierto is about 60 km3. Most of that volume was delivered by the Pleistocene Colorado River which flowed through the present-day Gran Desierto area. The present-day Colorado River can be seen emptying sediments into the northern part of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

Sediments in Northern Gulf of California, Mexico – November 2nd, 2011

29.0N 113W

November 2nd, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Mexico - October 30th, 2011

The Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez or Sea of Cortés) is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is bordered by the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, and Sinaloa with a coastline of approximately 2,500 mi (4,000 km).

Rivers which flow into the Gulf of California include the Colorado, Fuerte, Mayo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Yaqui. Here, sediments from the Colorado River can be seen flowing into the northern end of the gulf, giving it a tan color than turns to green as they diffuse.

Islands, Agriculture, Bays and Lakes by Sea of Cortez, Mexico

27.4N 111.3W

April 19th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Mexico - April 8th, 2011

The Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, stretches between the Baja California Peninsula and the Mexican mainland.

Numerous islands can be seen in the sea, particularly along the eastern coast of the peninsula. The largest of these, Isla Ángel de la Guarda (also called Archangel Island, west) and Tiburón Island (east), can be observed in the upper left quadrant.

Areas of agriculture appear as green areas along the eastern shores of the sea (the western coast of mainland Mexico). Individual fields can be discerned in the full image.

Visible by one of these agricultural areas is Ciudad Obregón, the second largest city in the state of Sonora. It appears as a circular grey area, with the Álvaro Obregón Reservoir to the north.

A series of bays can be seen to the southeast of the agricultural zone in Sonora. These bays are by the coastal plain of the state of Sinaloa, a narrow strip of land that stretches along the length of the state and lies between the ocean and the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental Range.

Pinacate Peaks and Gran Desierto de Altar, Mexico

31.7N 113.5W

March 20th, 2010 Category: Mountains, Volcanoes

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

The Pinacate Peaks (Sierra Pinacate), identifiable as a dark brown area in the lower left quadrant, are a volcanic group of volcanic peaks and cinder cones. They are located mostly in the Mexican state of Sonora along the international border adjacent to the U.S. state of Arizona, surrounded by the vast sand dune field of the Gran Desierto de Altar.

The tallest of the peaks is Cerro del Pinacate (also called Volcán Santa Clara), elevation 3,904 feet (1,190 m). The volcanoes here have erupted here sporadically since about 4 million years ago, probably in association with the opening of the Gulf of California. The most recent volcanic activity was about 11,000 years ago.

States of Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico

29.1N 111W

January 20th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Mexico - November 18th, 2009

Mexico - November 18th, 2009

The majority of the land in this image belongs to the Mexican states of Sonora (west) and Chihuahua (east), although parts of the states of Durango and Sinaloa are also visible towards the bottom. The state of Baja California Sud is entirely visible on the peninsula to the left, as is the southern part of Baja California. Finally, a small part of Texas, USA can be seen in the upper right quadrant.

Although Chihuahua is primarily identified with its namesake, the Chihuahuan Desert, it has more forests than any other state. On the slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains (around the regions of Casas Grandes, Cuauhtémoc and Parral), there are vast prairies of short yellow grass, the source of the bulk of the state’s agricultural production.

Sonora’s western shores are washed by the Sea of Cortez (or Gulf of California, as it is also known), which is connected to the Pacific Ocean further south. The Sonoran coastline is 1,208 km long, while its land border with Chihuahua is 592 km. Sonora is the second largest state in Mexico (184,934 km²), representing 9.2% of the nation’s total area.

Sonora consists of four physiographic regions: The Sierra Madre Occidental, Parallel Mountains and Valleys, the Sonoran Desert, and the Coast of the Gulf of California. Sonora is located in a climactic strip in the northern hemisphere that has formed various deserts around the globe. The state is located at the same latitude as the deserts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and other regions.