Subject: The Salton Sea
    Lens: Nikon 24mm @ f/11
    Exposure: 1/500sec
    Film: 35mm Kodak Pro 400(PPF)
    Date: 1/8/00
    Location: Desert Shores, California
    Comments: Located roughly 85 miles ENE of San Diego in Imperial and Riverside counties, California, the Salton Sea, at roughly 227ft below sea level and only 51ft deep, fills over 381 square miles of the 2000 square mile Salton Basin. This region contains the largest area of dry land that is found below sea level in the Western Hemisphere. The basin was created buy countless fault movements along the nearby San Andreas Fault.

    Created between 1905 and 1907 by flood waters from the Colorado River that breached their canals in Mexico, the water flowed west and north into the then dry Salton Basin. It took until 1907 to stop the flooding and return the water to its normal channels.

    Although the Colorado River water was fresh while flowing into the Salton Basin, the many layers of minerals found in the dry basin on top of high evaporation rates, turned the fresh water to a salinity level that is currently around 44 parts per thousand(ppt) or 25% higher than ocean water. On top of a high salinity level, the water is also subject to fertilizer and pesticide run off from farming regions in the Imperial Valley to its south. More information about the Salton Sea can be found on the SDSU Salton Sea Homepage.

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© Chris Cook 2000