Tuesday, February 22, 2011
USA - Arizona - Sonoran Desert
A summer storm sweeps through the Sonoran Desert providing water to the patiently waiting cacti.
Sent by Andrenna from Phoenix, USA.
This is from Wikipedia : The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California and the northwest Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America, with an area of 311,000 square kilometers (120,000 sq mi). The desert contains a variety of unique plants and animals, such as the saguaro cactus.
The Sonoran Desert wraps around the northern end of the Gulf of California, from Baja California Sur (El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve in central and Pacific west coast, Central Gulf Coast subregion on east to southern tip), north through much of Baja California, excluding the central northwest mountains and Pacific west coast, through southeastern California and southwestern and southern Arizona to western and central parts of Sonora. It is bounded on the west by the Peninsular Ranges, which separate it from the California chaparral and woodlands-(northwest), and Baja California desert-(Vizcaino subregion, central and southeast), ecoregions of the Pacific slope. To the north in California and northwest Arizona, the Sonoran Desert transitions to the colder-winter, slightly higher elevation Mojave, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau deserts. To the east and southeast, the deserts transition to the coniferous Arizona Mountains forests and Sierra Madre Occidental forests at higher elevations. Finally, to the south the Sonoran-Sinaloan transition subtropical dry forest is the transition zone from the Sonoran Desert to the tropical dry forests of the state of Sinaloa.
The desert's sub-regions include the Colorado Desert of southeastern California and the Yuma Desert east of the north-south Colorado River. In the 1957 publication, Vegetation of the Sonoran Desert, Forrest Shreve divided the Sonoran Desert into seven regions according to characteristic vegetation: Lower Colorado Valley, Arizona Upland, Plains of Sonora, Foothills of Sonora, Central Gulf Coast, Vizcaíno Region, and Magdalena Region. Many ecologists now consider Shreve's Vizcaíno and Magdalena regions, which lie on the western side of the Baja California Peninsula, to be a separate ecoregion, the Baja California desert.
Within the southern Sonoran Desert in Mexico is found the Gran Desierto de Altar, with the Reserva de la Biosfera el Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar ('Pinacate National Park' in Mexico), extending 2,000 square kilometers (770 sq mi) of desert and mountainous regions. The Pinacate National Park includes the only active Erg dune region in North America. The nearest city to the Reserva de la Biosfera el Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar is Puerto Peñasco (a.k.a. 'Rocky Point') in the state of Sonora, Mexico.