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Basin and Range Gallery

Lying just to the right of the map center, Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level and is the lowest point the US. Less than 90 miles away, at the left edge of the map, rises Mount Whitney, at 14,502 feet the highest point in the 48 states.Death Valley Inset

The wall of the Sierra Nevada marks the edge of the Basin and Range geologic province. The rain shadow cast by the high Sierra Nevada creates the Mohave Desert which extends far into the Basin and Range province.

The province is characterized by tilted fault blocks, raising the ranges and leaving deep valleys between blocks. Occasional flash floods wash sediment from the ranges and form gravel fans, or bajada, at the base of the mountains. Visible in the map are fans at the eastern base of the Panamint mountains extending into Death Valley. Many valleys have no streams exiting them, and their basins accumulate salt and sediment from the infrequent storms that leave shallow lakes to evaporate in the sun.

The lightly populated, isolated desert regions of the Basin and Range provide space for military reservations such as the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and the Nellis Range in Nevada.

Death Valley

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All maps and content Copyright (c) 1999-2001 James R. Irwin.