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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS018-E-24949 Date: Jan. 2009
Geographic Region: MEXICO
Feature: IH 8, CANALS., DUNES, DES.

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  All American Canal, California-Mexico border

The All-American Canal, the largest irrigation canal in the world and a key landmark along the US-Mexico border, shows up in this astronaut photograph. This image captures about 15 km of the important infrastructure corridor just west of Yuma, AZ. The prominent dark line crossing the image is the Canal which is crossed, in this view, by Interstate Highway 8. The canal carries 740.6 cubic meters (26,155 cubic feet) of water per second from the Colorado River westward to support the intensive agriculture of California's Imperial Valley to the northwest, and to nine cities including San Diego, CA. The canal system is the Imperial Valley's only source of water, and allows irrigation of more than 2,000 square kilometers (500,000 acres) of agricultural fields. The Coachella Canal, one of four main branch canals off of the All-American, leads water north to Imperial Valley.

This section of the canal requires constant maintenance. Approximately 68,000 acre-feet of water per year are lost by seepage from the All American Canal - especially where the canal crosses the great Algodones Dune Field, a portion of which is visible extending from top to bottom in the center of the image. Additionally, dune sand is constantly blown to the southeast, and into the canal. As part of California's Colorado River Water Use Plan, 37 km (23 miles) of the canal is being lined to prevent water loss by seepage. A recently opened sector parallels the old canal (image right) and new lined sectors are under construction (bright lines, center). Engineers have sited new sections of the canal to avoid the worst areas of dune-sand invasion, so that the new configuration will be significantly cheaper to maintain and operate.

A new road--unseen in prior imagery--crosses the dunes at image lower left and marks the US-Mexico border as part of border fence construction efforts. The margin of the Colorado River floodplain in Mexico is just visible 2 km south of the border (image lower left corner). This floodplain is Mexico's equivalent of the Imperial Valley in terms of its enormous irrigated agricultural production.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 236k
Mission: ISS018  
Roll - Frame: E - 24949
Geographical Name: MEXICO  
Features: IH 8, CANALS., DUNES, DES.  
Center Lat x Lon: 32.7N x 114.9W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N2
Camera Tilt: 30   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 2450  
Date: 20090131   YYYYMMDD
Time: 194701   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 32.1N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 113.2W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 180   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 189   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 41   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: DUNE  
Water Views: CANAL  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views: HIGHWAY  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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