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Chihuahuan Desert

Chihuahuan Desert
Arid Region
Chihuahuan Desert.jpg
The Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas
Country Mexico, United States
Region North America
Coordinates 30°32′26″N 103°50′14″W / 30.54056°N 103.83722°W / 30.54056; -103.83722Coordinates: 30°32′26″N 103°50′14″W / 30.54056°N 103.83722°W / 30.54056; -103.83722
Highest point
 - elevation 3,700 m (12,139 ft)
Lowest point
 - elevation 600 m (1,969 ft)
Length 1,280 km (795 mi)
Width 4,400 km (2,734 mi)
Area 362,600 km2 (140,001 sq mi)
Chihuahuan Desert map.svg
Website: Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso

The Chihuahuan Desert is a desert and ecoregion designation covering parts of Mexico and the United States. It occupies much of West Texas and parts of southern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona, as well as the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau. It is bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, along with northern portions of the Sierra Madre Oriental range. On the Mexican side, it covers the northern half of the state of Chihuahua, along with the majority of Coahuila, north-eastern Durango, the extreme northern part of Zacatecas, and small western portions of Nuevo León. With an area of about 362,000 km2 (139,769 sq mi), it is the third largest desert of the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert.

Several larger mountain ranges include the Sierra Madre, the Sierra del Carmen, the Organ Mountains, the Franklin Mountains, the Sacramento Mountains, the Sandia-Manzano Mountains, the Magdalena-San Mateo Mountains, the Chisos Mountains, the Guadalupe Mountains, and the Davis Mountains. These create "sky islands" of cooler, wetter, climates adjacent to, or within the desert, and such elevated areas have both coniferous and broadleaf woodlands, including forests along drainages and favored exposures.


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