Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  New Mexico Land Cover
Capital Santa Fe
Largest City Albuquerque
Area Ranked 5th
Total 121,355.53 sq mi
Population Ranked 36th
Total (2000) 1,819,046
Density 15.0/sq mi
Highest point Wheeler Peak 13,161 ft (4,011 m)
Lowest point Red Bluff Reservoir 2,842 ft (866 m)
New Mexico Land Cover

New Mexico consists of four geographic regions: 1) Southern Rocky Mountains, 2) Colorado Plateau, 3) Basin and Range regions, and 4) High Plains sub region of the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountains extend southward in New Mexico to form two branches that are divided by the Rio Grande Valley. The Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range are located in the western part of the State. Found in this area are a number of basins that lack a drainage source to an ocean. This lack allows for sand, gravel, and soil that have eroded from the mountains to be deposited there. The largest basin in the region is the Tularosa Valley. The High Plains, part of the Great Plains, extends southward from Colorado and westward from Texas and Oklahoma into eastern New Mexico. The Continental Divide crosses the state from the north to the south, separating river drainage into the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. New Mexico's major river, the Rio Grande, originates on the Colorado Plateau and flows southward though the state to the United States/ Mexico border.