Eastern Mojave Vegetation
Images -- Geography - California's Colorado Desert

By Tom Schweich


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Images are organized by the topics listed at left. Click on a topic name to see images with that topic.

Would you like to use these photographs in your school term paper or report?

License is hereby granted for non-commercial use of the images contained herein provided that the images are reproduced with the copyright notice intact. This means that we give you our permission to use the photographs and information you find here in your school term papers and reports. You may resize the photograph to fit your needs, but you may not remove the copyright. Your term paper should note that the photographs are reproduced with permission and it should have a reference to this web site, such as:

"Photograph 1999 Tom Schweich. Used by permission, http://www.schweich.com"

If you have a comment or a question about a photograph you may write to me at tas4@schweich.com I will answer you as soon as I can. I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I will not disclose your full name or address.

Anza Borrego State Park

Ocotillo on Borrego Springs Road

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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Wind Caves in sandstone above Fish Creek

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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Field Trip Stop 3-8. Arroyo Diablo Formation.

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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Field Trip Stop 3-4. First Evidence of Ancestral Colorado River

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

Article records that use this photograph:

  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 66473.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Fossil Reef Interpretive Sign

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

Fossil Reef -- High and Dry
Twenty million years ago, where you are standing was the bottom of a warm shallow sea. The Gulf of California covered the region.

Thriving in the warm waters were many varieties of fish, corals, and shellfish. Over thousands of years shells of oysters and pectens accumulated on the sea bottom and were covered with shofting sands. Thick deposits of shells formed reefs in the shallow sea. The Gulf retreated, faults shofted, and the land uplifted, leaving the ancient reefs high and dry.

The ridge to the south has a dark brown crust which is composed entirelyt of fossil mollusks. The reef is hard compated to the soft silts beneath it, and is more resistant to erosion. Can you see that erosion has weathered trhe softer sediment and brought them tight here to your feet. The buttresses beneath the ancient reef are known as Elephant Knees.

As you proceed up Fish Creek be on the lookout for signs of the fossil reef. It can be spotted in the overhanging cliffs above Loop Wash, just a few miles west of here.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 63918.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Field Trip Stop 3-3. Base of the Latrania Formation

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 70924.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Fish Creek Campground

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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Field Trip Stop 3-2. Elephant Trees Conglomerate.

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 77948.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Field Trip Stop 3-1. Fish Creek Gypsum

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

Article records that use this photograph:

  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 80839.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Field Trip Stop 3-7. Yuha Formation.

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 50830.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Field Trip Stop 3-6. Colorado River delta rythmites

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 56345.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Field Trip Stop 3-3. Srutzstrom

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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  • Fish Creek Wash, San Diego County, California: 70924.
  • Field Notes: 21-Apr-08.

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Axis of drag fold

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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Vallecito Mountains above Fish Creek

Photograph taken April 21, 2008.

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California Highway 111

Map of California Highway 111

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  • California Highway 111: map.

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California Highway 78

Map of California Highway 78

Article records that use this photograph:

  • California Highway 78, "Ben Hulse Highway," Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego Counties, California: map.

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Imperial County

Entrance to Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Geology talk at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Cottontail rabbit at Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Elmer Power Plant of the California Energy Company

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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CA Hwy 78 north of Ben Hulse Monument

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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CA Hwy 78 south of Ben Hulse Monument

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Rock Hill and Obsidian Butte from Red Island

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Bouse Formation outcrop near the Ben Hulse Monument

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

Near the Ben Hulse Monument is an outcrop of the Lawlor Tuff in Bouse Formation sediments. This outcrop demonstrates than the high stand of water here reached 330 m (1080 ft) when the Lawlor Tuff was deposited at 4.83 Ma.

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Monument on Ben Hulse Highway

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

BEN HULSE HIGHWAY
Dedicated For Public Use
MARCH 21, 1964
This highway parallels the old Indian trail, still visible from here, connecting the Imperial and Palo Verde Valleys.

The grateful people of Imperial County honor the memory of our beloved Senator Ben Hulse, who worked untiringly for the people of the State of California.

Ben Hulse Highway completes the four state system from Canada to Mexico which culminates twenty five years of work by countless civic minded citizens.

Erected by the Native Sons of the Golden West.

De Anza Parlor No. 312.

Grand President
Joseph G. Oeschger

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Joshua Tree National Park

Pinto Mountain, the highest peak in the Pinto Mountains, as seen across the Pinto Basin

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Cottonwood Spring

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Turkey Flats

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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  • Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, Riverside County, California: 65000.
  • Field Notes: 22-Apr-08.

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Silver Bell Mine

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

Silver Bell Mine
On the slopes to the south you can see the remains of the Silver Bell Mine, with its tipples still standing. These ore bins held and fed rock to a stamp battery that crushed the ore into a sandy-watery pulp and pushed it onto an amalgamation table where the precious metals were extracted. Though the mines operated some 40 years, ownership and details about the mine's riches are sketchy. Nevertheless, it was a versatile mine: gold in the 1930s, lead in the 1940s, and copper in the 1950s.
Prospectors began staking claims in this desert region around 1865. Gold fever gave rise to mine names like Fore Aces, Big Bozo Claim, Lucky Turkey #2, and Hard Digging. Mining reached its peak here by 1917 and tapered off by the 1960s.
Ore was hoisted from the Silver Bell Mine by the skip and dumped onto the grizzly, which sorted ore into the tipple. A 1958 assay report showed the Silver Bell Mine as having low gold and silver values, but high copper values -- worth about $90 a ton.

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Cottonwood Spring

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Silver Bell Mine

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Interpretive Sign About Pinto Basin

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

Pinto People
In the Pinto Basin there lies an extinct river along whose banks we found, for nearly six miles, camps containing a culture different from anything we had already encountered.
Elizabeth Campbell (1893-1971)
It is hard to imagine the existence of large bodies of water anywhere in this parched landscape, but exist they did. Here in the Pinto Basin evidence of old shorelines lends proof to a cooler, wetter period when a shallow river coursed the basin. The river attracted life, which explains the fossil bones of extinct camel, horse, llama, sheep, tortoise, and rabbit found here. It also explains the discovery of a distinct human culture that camped along the riverbanks.
Between 1931 and 1935, self-taught archaeologists Elizabeth and William Campbell searched up and down this valley. They followed the ancient riverbank terraces for miles, discovering many small campsites and collecting chipped stone tools -- leaf-shaped points, scrapers, and choppers. The Campbells recognized that these tools were different from others of the region. When the artifacts were radiocarbon tested years later, they registered more than 9,000 years old and confirmed the existence of a vanished people -- the Pinto Culture.

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  • Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, Riverside County, California: Pinto Basin.
  • Field Notes: 22-Apr-08.

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Turkey Flats

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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  • Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, Riverside County, California: 65000.
  • Field Notes: 22-Apr-08.

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Palo Verde Mesa

Mule Mountain Archaeological Area

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Mule Mountain Archaeological Area

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Plaque at Mule Mountain Archaeological Area

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

Mule Mountain Archaeological Site
This terrace contains a branching Indian trail and trail circle worn into the desert pavement. Although the purpose of trail circles in not definitely known, then may have been used by the Indians for performing dances called "circle dances." The terrace also contains groups of circles in parallel rows and horseshoe shapes scraped into the pavement surface. When these circles were made or for what purpose is at present unknown. They may be aboriginal or they may be a result of General Pattons' desert training activities during World War II. The terrace has been fenced to protect these cultural manifestations from damage by wheeled vehicles.

For further information contact the nearest BLM office or the patrolling ranger.

Cultural resources are protected by the 1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

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Salton Sea Mud Volcanoes

Mud Volcanoes

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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A geothermal plant goes up behind the mud volcanoes.

Photograph taken 29 April 2011.

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Mud Volcanoes

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Mud Volcanoes

Photograph taken April 20, 2008.

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Sheephole Mountains

Pediment in Sheephole Pass

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Amboy Road toward Sheephole Pass

Photograph taken April 22, 2008.

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Date and time this article was prepared: 3/21/2017 9:25:32 AM