Desert regions may bring to mind images such as huge expanses of sand, extremely dry weather conditions, intense heat, and sparse animal and plant life. Although all of these conditions are sometimes found in deserts, people have managed to establish homes and even thrive in desert environments. The Mojave Desert, a high desert, is located at an elevation of between 2000 and 6000 feet. The average annual rainfall is less than five inches, making large scale farming impossible. Mountain ranges and sandy soil prevent easy travel from place to place.
1. What are some characteristics of a desert environment that make human habitation difficult?
2. What is the average annual rainfall in your area? How does it compare with the average rainfall in the Mojave Desert?
3. Identify all the deserts shown on Map 1. Name the countries and states covered by these deserts. Which desert is a subsection of another?
4. Locate Joshua Tree National Park, which includes the area where Bill Keys settled. What two deserts surround the park?
* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Map 1, but be aware that the file may take as much as 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.