Thursday, July 29, 2010
Death Valley is a desert located in the southwestern United States of America. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. Badwater, a basin located within Death Valley, is the specific location (36° 14.5' N 116° 49.5' W) of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86.0 m) below sea level. This point is only 76 miles (122 km) east of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913—just short of the world record, 136 °F (57.8 °C) in Al 'Aziziyah, Libya, on September 13, 1922.
Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. It is located mostly in Inyo County, California. It runs from north to south between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 sq mi (7,800 km2). Death Valley shares many characteristics with other places below sea level.