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Posts tagged Sonoran Desert

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.

Salton Sea, Gran Desierto de Altar and Mouth of Colorado River, USA and Mexico

33.2N 115.7W

October 26th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Lakes, Rivers, Sediments

USA and Mexico – October 26th, 2012

Visible in the upper left quadrant of this image is the Salton Sea, a huge but shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella Valleys.

The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff drainage systems and creeks. Visible south of the sea is irrigated land in southern California and Mexico.

In the lower right quadrant, sediments from the Colorado River can be observed spilling into the Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez. The Gran Desierto de Altar, one of the major portions of the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, can also be seen extending across much of the northern border of the Gulf of California. It reaches 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, as well as including the only active erg dune region in North America.

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).

Pinacate Peaks Amidst Sand Dunes of the Gran Desierto de Altar, Mexico

31.7N 114.7W

November 30th, 2009 Category: Rivers, Volcanoes

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

Mexico - November 17th, 2009

The Colorado River pours thick tan sediments around Montague Island and into the Sea of Cortes. The sediments gradually take on a greenish appearance as they diffuse southward.

North of the rivermouth is the Gran Desierto de Altar, part of the Sonoran Desert. The desert’s vast sand dune field appears mostly tan here, with the exception of a dark brown circular area in the upper right quadrant.

This part of the desert is the location of the Pinacate Peaks, a group of volcanic peaks and cinder cones. The tallest of the peaks is Cerro del Pinacate (also called Volcan Santa Clara), elevation 3,904 feet (1,190 m).

San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico-USA Border

32.4N 114.7W

June 10th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

USA and Mexico - June 2nd, 2009

USA and Mexico - June 2nd, 2009

Agriculture, mountains, desert and populated areas are all visible in this radar image of the USA-Mexico border.

The bright white area in the lower left quadrant is San Luis Río Colorado, a city and its surrounding municipality lying in the northwestern corner of the state of Sonora, Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 8,412.75 km² (3,248.2 sq mi) in the Sonoran Desert.

The city is situated on the banks of the Río Colorado, which at this point marks the state border with Baja California. It also stands on the international border with the United States, adjacent to San Luis, Arizona.

Reaching in diagonally from the center left is the southeastern end of a large erg, or sand dune field, called the Algodones Dunes.

Also stretching diagonally across the image, through its center, is a mountain range in the Sonoran Desert. It crosses from California into Arizona, before finally reaching Mexico.

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