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Encyclopedia > Imperial Valley
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The Imperial Valley and the Salton Sea, as seen from the Space shuttle. North is to the upper right. The US-Mexican border can be seen as a straight line near the bottom of the image.

The Imperial Valley is a region of southeastern Southern California (USA) and northern Baja California (Mexico).


It covers Imperial County, California, the Coachella Valley, the city of Mexicali in Baja California, and environs. (In Mexico this area of the Baja California peninsula is referred to as the Valle de Mexicali.) The Imperial Valley lies, in part, between the Colorado River and the Salton Sea, the state of California's largest lake. Major population centers are El Centro and Brawley in California, and the twin border towns of Calexico and Mexicali.


Spanish explorer Melchior Díaz was one of the first Europeans to visit the area in 1540, and probably sent at least scouting parties into the valley proper.


Although this region is a desert with high temperatures and low rainfall of three inches (75 mm) per year, the economy is heavily based on agriculture due to irrigation, primarily from the All-American Canal. A vast sytem of canals, dams, and pipelines carry the water all over the valley, a system which forms the Imperial Irrigation District, or IID. The number of canal and pipeline branches number roughly over a hundred. Imported water and a long growing season allow two crop cycles each year, and the Imperial Valley is a major source of winter fruits and vegetables, cotton, and grain.


A secondary industry of the Imperial Valley region is tourism. Many visitors come to the area to visit the Salton Sea (California's largest inland lake, which serves as a dumpout point for the overflow of the IID canal system and ditch drainage) and the Glamis Sand Dunes. Another unique feature of the Imperial Valley is the New River, which flows from south to north, from Mexico to the Salton Sea. This attribute of the river is rare: the only major river that flows south to north is Nile river in Africa.


Imperial Valley is crossed by Interstate 8, and California State Highways 7, 78, 86, 98, 111, and 115.


External links

  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=33.1&longitude=-115.5&zoom=5)
    • Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=33.1&lon=-115.5&s=500&size=m&layer=DRG250)
    • Aerial photograph from Terraserver (http://terraservice.net/map.aspx?t=1&s=16&lon=-115.5&lat=33.1&w=750&h=500)
Geography of California
Antelope Valley | Central Valley | Central Coast | Channel Islands | Coast Ranges | Conejo Valley | Death Valley | Gold Country | Greater Los Angeles | Imperial Valley | Inland Empire | Mojave | Napa Valley | Northern California | Owens Valley | Pomona Valley | Redwood Empire | San Fernando Valley | San Francisco Bay Area | The Peninsula | San Gabriel Valley | Santa Clara Valley | Santa Clarita Valley | Shasta Cascade | Sierra Nevada | Silicon Valley | Southern California | Wine Country


Colorado River system
Dams and aqueducts (see U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)
Shadow Mountain Dam | Granby Dam | Glen Canyon Dam | Hoover Dam | Davis Dam | Parker Dam | Palo Verde Diversion Dam | Imperial Dam | Laguna Dam | Morelos Dam | Colorado River Aqueduct | San Diego Aqueduct | Central Arizona Project Aqueduct | All-American Canal | Coachella Canal | Redwall Dam
Natural features
Colorado River | Rocky Mountains | Colorado River Basin | Sonoran desert | Mojave desert | Imperial Valley | Colorado Plateau | Grand Canyon | Glen Canyon | Marble Canyon | Paria Canyon | Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez | Salton Sea
Tributaries
Dirty Devil River | Dolores River | Escalante River | Gila River | Green River | Gunnison River | Kanab River | Little Colorado River | Paria River | San Juan River | Virgin River
Major Reservoirs
Fontenelle Reservoir | Flaming Gorge Reservoir | Taylor Park Reservoir | | Navajo Reservoir | Lake Powell | Lake Mead | Lake Havasu
Dependent states
Arizona | California | Colorado | Nevada | New Mexico | Utah
Designated areas
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area | Lake Mead National Recreation Area

  Results from FactBites:
 
Imperial Valley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (509 words)
The Imperial Valley is a region of southeastern California (USA) located, in part, between the Colorado River and the Salton Sea, the state of California's largest lake.
Another unique feature of the Imperial Valley is the New River, which flows from south to north, from the nearby border city of Mexicali to the Salton Sea.
Imperial Valley is crossed by Interstate 8, and California State Highways 7, 78, 86, 98, 111, and 115.
Imperial Valley 1973 to 1992 (843 words)
This valley, also known as the Salton Sink, the Salton Basin, and the Salton Trough, is actually an extension of the Gulf of California, cut off from the Gulf by the Colorado River's delta fan.
The valley was renamed Imperial by turn-of-the-century land investors.
The river was higher than the valley, but it was hemmed in by its own natural "levees", land barriers on either bank built up over the years from the silt left behind by floods.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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