- Colorado Desert
an arid region in SE California, W of the Colorado River. ab. 2500 sq. mi. (6475 sq. km).
* * *part of the Sonoran Desert, extending southeastward for 164 miles (264 km) from the San Gorgonio Pass in southeastern California, U.S., to the Colorado River delta in northern Mexico. A low-lying, arid region, it is bounded by the Pacific coastal ranges (west), the San Bernardino, Cottonwood, Chuckawalla, and Chocolate mountains and the Colorado River (north through east), and the head of the Gulf of California (south). The typical vegetation of the desert is the creosote bush–desert shrub association. Shifting sand dunes lie in the northwest and in the Algodones sand hills in the east. The Salton Sea, a brackish-water lake, occupies the deepest section of the Salton Trough (Salton Basin), a landform that effectively outlines the Colorado Desert and the neighbouring Yuma Desert of Arizona, U.S., and northwestern Sonora, Mex. The productive, irrigated Coachella and Imperial valleys stretch northwest and southeast from the Salton Sea. Water is supplied to these valleys through canals from the Colorado River, after which the desert was named. Within the desert are several Indian reservations, the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, and popular resorts such as Palm Springs.
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