May 5, 200603:36 PMThe Life
Deserts of the world: Chihuahuan
May 5, 2006 - 03:36 PMAt 200,000 square miles, the Chihuahuan Desert is the largest in North America. It covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, but mostly lies south of the Mexican border. Elevations range from 1,000 to 5,000 feet, with the vast majority of its land area above 3,500 feet.
Winter temperatures are cool, but summer temperatures are extremely hot. Generally, the land receives less than 10 inches of annual rainfall, with most precipitation occurring in the summer months.
Like the Great Basin, this is a shrub desert. Tarbrush, creosote, mesquite, grasses, yuccas, agaves, prickly pears and ocotillos predominate. [Click thumbnail photo to enlarge.]