STS056-109-023 Pecos River Valley, New Mexico, U.S.A. April 1993
A small segment of the south-flowing Pecos River appears in this color infrared photograph of southeastern New Mexico. Artesia (barely discernible in the center of the photograph) is located in this semiarid region that receives an average of 15 inches (38 centimeters) of precipitation each year. Major economic activities include farming and fossil fuel extraction. The clusters of small white dots denote oil- and gas-producing fields. The reddish, rectangular field patterns (red colors reveal green vegetation) indicate irrigated agriculture along the Pecos River. When water is not available from the river, farmers use artesian well water that flows under pressure through aquifers from the eastern slopes of the mountains west of this region.
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