Southern California, often abbreviated as SoCal, is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises Californias 10 southernmost counties. The region is described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is used and is based on historical political divisions. Southern California is an economic center for the state of California. The 8-county and 10-county definitions are not used for the greater Southern California Megaregion, the megaregions area is more expansive, extending east into Las Vegas and south across the Mexican border into Tijuana.5 million people. With over 22 million people, Southern California contains roughly 60 percent of Californias population, located east of Southern California is the Colorado Desert and the Colorado River at the border with Arizona. The Mojave Desert is located at the border with the state of Nevada while towards the south is the Mexico–United States border, within Southern California are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the countrys largest metropolitan areas.
With a population of 3,792,621, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. South of Los Angeles and with a population of 1,307,402 is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation. The counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are the five most populous in the state, the motion picture and music industry are centered in the Los Angeles area in Southern California. Hollywood, a district within Los Angeles, gives its name to the American motion picture industry, headquartered in Southern California are The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Universal, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers. Universal, Warner Brothers, and Sony run major record companies, Southern California is home to a large homegrown surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as Vans, Quiksilver, No Fear, RVCA, some of the worlds biggest action sports events, including the X Games, Boost Mobile Pro, and the U. S.
Open of Surfing, are all held in Southern California. Southern California is important to the world of yachting, the annual Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac, from Los Angeles to Hawaii, is one of yachtings premier events. The San Diego Yacht Club held the Americas Cup, the most prestigious prize in yachting, from 1988 to 1995, Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net. Many locals and tourists frequent the Southern California coast for its popular beaches, the desert city of Palm Springs is popular for its resort feel and nearby open spaces. Southern California is not a geographic designation and definitions of what constitutes Southern California vary. Geographically, Californias North-South midway point lies at exactly 37°958.23 latitude, around 11 miles south of San Jose, when the state is divided into two areas, the term Southern California usually refers to the 10 southernmost counties of the state
Adobe is a building material made from earth and often organic material. Adobe is among the earliest building materials, and is used throughout the world, modern methods of construction allow the pouring of whole adobe walls that are reinforced with steel. In dry climates, adobe structures are extremely durable, and account for some of the oldest existing buildings in the world. Adobe buildings offer significant advantages due to their greater thermal mass, cases where adobe structures were widely damaged during earthquakes include the 1976 Guatemala earthquake, the 2003 Bam earthquake and the 2010 Chile earthquake. Puebloan peoples built their structures with handfuls or basketfuls of adobe. Adobe bricks were used in Spain from the Late Bronze and Iron Ages and its wide use can be attributed to its simplicity of design and manufacture, and economics. A distinction is made between the smaller adobes, which are about the size of ordinary baked bricks, and the larger adobines. The word adobe /əˈdoʊbiː/ has existed for around 4000 years with little change in either pronunciation or meaning.
The word can be traced from the Middle Egyptian word ɟbt mudbrick, Middle Egyptian evolved into Late Egyptian, Demotic or pre-Coptic, and finally to Coptic, where it appeared as τωωβε tōʾpə. This was borrowed into Arabic as الطوب aṭ-ṭawbu or aṭ-ṭūbu, with the definite article al- attached, English borrowed the word from Spanish in the early 18th century. In more modern English usage, the adobe has come to include a style of architecture popular in the desert climates of North America. An adobe brick is a material made of earth mixed with water. The soil composition typically contains sand and clay, straw is useful in binding the brick together and allowing the brick to dry evenly, thereby preventing cracking due to uneven shrinkage rates through the brick. The most desirable soil texture for producing the mud of adobe is 15% clay, 10–30% silt, another source quotes 15–25% clay and the remainder sand and coarser particles up to cobbles 50 to 250 mm with no deleterious effect. Modern adobe is stabilized with either emulsified asphalt or Portland cement up to 10% by weight, no more than half the clay content should be expansive clays with the remainder non-expansive illite or kaolinite.
Too much expansive clay results in uneven drying through the resulting in cracking. Typically the soils of the Southwest United States, where construction is in use, are an adequate composition. Adobe walls are bearing, i. e. they carry their own weight into the foundation rather than by another structure
In architecture, a hall is a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age, a hall was such a simple building and was the residence of a lord. Later, rooms were partitioned from it, and the next to the front door became the entrance hall. Today, the hall of a house is the next to the front door or vestibule leading to the rooms directly and/or indirectly. Where the hall inside the front door of a house is elongated, it may be called a passage, in warmer climates the houses of the wealthy were often built around a courtyard, but in northern areas manors were built around a great hall. The hall was home to the hearth, and was all the residents of the house would eat, work. One common example of form is the longhouse. Only particularly messy tasks would be done in rooms on the periphery of the hall. Still today the hall is often used to designate a country house such as a hall house, or specifically a Wealden hall house. In medieval Europe, the room of a castle or manor house was the great hall.
In a medieval building, the hall was where the fire was kept, as heating technology improved and a desire for privacy grew, tasks moved from the hall to other rooms. First the master of the house withdrew to private bedrooms and eating areas, over time servants and children moved to their own areas, while work projects were given their own chambers leaving the hall for special functions. With time, its functions as dormitory, parlour and so on were divided off to separate rooms or, in the case of the kitchen, until the early modern era that majority of the population lived in houses with a single room. In the 17th century even lower classes began to have a room, with the main chamber being the hall. The hall and parlor house was found in England and was a fundamental, historical floor plan in parts of the United States from 1620 to 1860, in Europe as the wealthy embraced multiple rooms initially the common form was the enfilade, with rooms directly connecting to each other. In 1597 John Thorpe is the first recorded architect to replace multiple connected rooms with a rooms along a corridor each accessed by a separate door.
Many buildings at colleges and universities are formally titled _______ Hall, typically being named after the person who endowed it, for example, Kings Hall, such as Lady Margaret Hall, commemorate respected people. Between these in age, Nassau Hall at Princeton University began as the building of the college
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County in the U. S. state of California. Situated on a section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States. Santa Barbaras climate is described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the American Riviera. The population of the county in 2010 was 423,895. In 2004, the sector accounted for fully 35% of local employment. Education in particular is well represented, with four institutions of learning on the south coast. The Santa Barbara Airport serves the city, as does Amtrak, U. S. Highway 101 connects the Santa Barbara area with Los Angeles to the southeast and San Francisco to the northwest. Behind the city, in and beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains, is the Los Padres National Forest, Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are located approximately 20 miles offshore. Evidence of human habitation of the area begins at least 13,000 years ago, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Chumash lived on the south coast of Santa Barbara County at the time of the first European explorations.
Five Chumash villages flourished in the area, portuguese explorer João Cabrilho, sailing for the Kingdom of Spain, sailed through what is now called the Santa Barbara Channel in 1542, anchoring briefly in the area. In 1602, Spanish maritime explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno gave the name Santa Barbara to the channel, a land expedition led by Gaspar de Portolà visited in 1769, and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi, who accompanied the expedition, named a large native town Laguna de la Concepcion. Cabrillos earlier name, however, is the one that has survived, the first permanent European residents were Spanish missionaries and soldiers under Felipe de Neve, who came in 1782 to build the Presidio. They were sent both to fortify the region against expansion by other such as England and Russia. Many of the Spaniards brought their families with them, and those formed the nucleus of the small town – at first just a cluster of adobes – that surrounded the Presidio, the Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4,1786.
It was the tenth of the California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans and it was dedicated by Padre Fermín Lasuén, who succeeded Padre Junipero Serra as the second president and founder of the California Franciscan Mission Chain. The Mission fathers began the work of converting the native Chumash to Christianity. The Chumash laborers built a connection between the creek and the Santa Barbara Mission water system through the use of a dam. During the following decades, many of the natives died of such as smallpox
Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power.
The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.
In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci
San Gabriel, California
San Gabriel is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is named after the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded by Junípero Serra, the city grew outward from the mission and in 1852 became the original township of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel was incorporated in 1913, the citys motto is A city with a Mission and it is often called the Birthplace of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. At the 2010 census, the population was 39,718, prior to the arrival of the Spanish to Alta California, the area that is now San Gabriel was inhabited by the Tongva Native Americans, whom the Spanish called the Gabrieleño. The Tongva name for the San Gabriel region has been reconstructed as Shevaa and he was appointed as Californias governor twice, serving briefly in 1832 and again from 1845 through the Mexican-American War. Later in life, he was elected as a Los Angeles City councilman, the city of Pico Rivera was named to honor him as the last governor of California to be born in Mexico. In 1853, a company of Army Engineers, who included the geologist William P.
Blake, Blake observed that the once great vineyards had fallen into wild disarray. Fences were in disrepair, and animals roamed freely through the property, the mission bells were ringing, and the church was still in use. In the first United States census made in California in 1860,586 people lived in San Gabriel, by the time of General Law Incorporation on April 24,1913, the citys population had grown to 1,500. San Gabriel is located at 34°5′39″N 118°5′54″W, according to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles, virtually all of it land. The city is bordered on the north by San Marino, on the east by Temple City and Rosemead, to the south by Rosemead and this region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, San Gabriel has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, the 2010 United States Census reported that San Gabriel had a population of 39,718. The population density was 9,581.5 people per square mile.
The racial makeup of San Gabriel was 24,091 Asian,10,076 White,388 African American,220 Native American,43 Pacific Islander,3,762 from other races, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10,189 persons. The Census reported that 39,266 people lived in households,34 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, there were 481 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 76 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,121 households were made up of individuals and 800 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older, the average household size was 3.13. There were 9,594 families, the family size was 3.47. The median age was 40.3 years, for every 100 females there were 93.2 males
An arch is a curved structure that spans a space and may or may not support weight above it. Arch may be synonymous with vault, but a vault may be distinguished as a continuous arch forming a roof, an arch is a pure compression form. It can span an area by resolving forces into compressive stresses and. This is sometimes referred to as arch action, as the forces in the arch are carried to the ground, the arch will push outward at the base, called thrust. As the rise, or height of the arch decreases, the outward thrust increases, in order to maintain arch action and prevent the arch from collapsing, the thrust needs to be restrained, either with internal ties or external bracing, such as abutments. The most common true arch configurations are the arch, the two-hinged arch. The fixed arch is most often used in reinforced concrete bridge and tunnel construction, because it is subject to additional internal stress caused by thermal expansion and contraction, this type of arch is considered to be statically indeterminate.
The two-hinged arch is most often used to long spans. This type of arch has pinned connections at the base, unlike the fixed arch, the pinned base is able to rotate, allowing the structure to move freely and compensate for the thermal expansion and contraction caused by changes in outdoor temperature. However, this can result in additional stresses, so the two-hinged arch is statically indeterminate, the three-hinged arch is not only hinged at its base, like the two-hinged arch, but at the mid-span as well. The additional connection at the mid-span allows the arch to move in two opposite directions and compensate for any expansion and contraction. This type of arch is not subject to additional stress caused by thermal change. The three-hinged arch is said to be statically determinate. It is most often used for structures, such as large building roofs. Another advantage of the arch is that the pinned bases are more easily developed than fixed ones, allowing for shallow. Arches have many forms, but all fall into three categories, circular and parabolic.
Arches can be configured to produce vaults and arcades, Arches with a circular form, referred to as rounded arches, were commonly employed by the builders of ancient, heavy masonry arches. Ancient Roman builders relied heavily on the arch to span large
Plaster is a building material used for the protective and/or decorative coating of walls and ceilings and for moulding and casting decorative elements. In English plaster usually means a material used for the interiors of buildings, another imprecise term used for the material is stucco, which is often used for plasterwork that is worked in some way to produce relief decoration, rather than flat surfaces. The most common types of plaster mainly contain either gypsum, lime, or cement, the plaster is manufactured as a dry powder and is mixed with water to form a stiff but workable paste immediately before it is applied to the surface. The reaction with water liberates heat through crystallization and the hydrated plaster hardens, plaster can be relatively easily worked with metal tools or even sandpaper, and can be moulded, either on site or to make pre-formed sections in advance, which are put in place with adhesive. Plaster is not a material, it is suitable for finishing, rather than load-bearing.
Forms of plaster have several other uses, in medicine plaster orthopedic casts are still often used for supporting set broken bones. In dentistry plaster is used to make dental models, various types of models and moulds are made with plaster. In art, lime plaster is the matrix for fresco painting. Gypsum plaster, or plaster of Paris, is produced by heating gypsum to about 300 °F, when the dry plaster powder is mixed with water, it re-forms into gypsum. The setting of unmodified plaster starts about 10 minutes after mixing and is complete in about 45 minutes, if plaster or gypsum is heated above 266 °F, hemihydrate is formed, which will re-form as gypsum if mixed with water. On heating to 180 °C, the nearly water-free form, called γ-anhydrite is produced, γ-Anhydrite reacts slowly with water to return to the dihydrate state, a property exploited in some commercial desiccants. On heating above 250 °C, the anhydrous form called β-anhydrite or dead burned plaster is formed. A large gypsum deposit at Montmartre in Paris led calcined gypsum to be known as plaster of Paris.
Plasterers often use gypsum to simulate the appearance of surfaces of wood, stone, or metal, on movie, theatrical plasterers often use expanded polystyrene, although the job title remains unchanged. Plaster of Paris can be used to impregnate gauze bandages to make a material called plaster bandages. It is used similarly to clay, as it is shaped when wet, yet sets into a resilient. This is the material that was used to make classic plaster orthopedic casts to protect limbs with broken bones, set Modroc is an early example of a composite material. The hydration of plaster of Paris relies on the reaction of water with the dehydrated or partially hydrated calcium sulfate present in the plaster, lime plaster is a mixture of calcium hydroxide and sand
A courtyard or court is an enclosed area, often surrounded by a building or complex, that is open to the sky. Such spaces in inns and public buildings were often the meeting places for some purposes. Both of the court and yard derive from the same root. See yard and garden for the relation of this set of words, courtyards—private open spaces surrounded by walls or buildings—have been in use in residential architecture for almost as long as people have lived in constructed dwellings. The courtyard house makes its first appearance ca, Courtyards have historically been used for many purposes including cooking, working, playing and even places to keep animals. Before courtyards, open fires were burning in a central place within a home. Over time, these openings were enlarged and eventually led to the development of the centralized open courtyard we know today. Courtyard homes have been designed and built throughout the world many variations. Courtyard homes are prevalent in temperate climates, as an open central court can be an important aid to cooling house in warm weather.
However, courtyard houses have been found in harsher climates as well for centuries, the comforts offered by a courtyard—air, privacy and tranquility—are properties nearly universally desired in human housing. Ur,2000 BC — two-storey houses constructed around a square were built of fired brick. Kitchen and public spaces were located on the ground floor, the central uncovered area in a Roman domus was referred to as an atrium. Today, we use the term courtyard to refer to such an area. Roman atrium houses were built side by side along the street and they were one-storey homes without windows that took in light from the entrance and from the central atrium. The hearth, which used to inhabit the centre of the home, was relocated, and these homes frequently incorporated a second open-air area, the garden, which would be surrounded by Greek-style colonnades, forming a peristyle. This created a colonnaded walkway around the perimeter of the courtyard, Courtyard houses in the Middle East reflect the nomadic influences of the region.
Often the flat rooftops of these structures were used for sleeping in warm weather, in some Islamic cultures, private courtyards provided the only outdoor space for women to relax unobserved. The traditional Chinese courtyard house, e. g. siheyuan, is an arrangement of individual houses around a square
New Spain was a colonial territory of the Spanish Empire, in the New World north of the Isthmus of Panama. It was established following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, after 1535 the colony was governed by the Viceroy of New Spain, an appointed minister of the King of Spain, who ruled as monarch over the colony. The capital of New Spain was Mexico City and it developed highly regional divisions, which reflect the impact of climate, the presence or absence of dense indigenous populations, and the presence or absence of mineral resources. The areas of central and southern Mexico had dense indigenous populations with complex social, silver mining not only became the engine of the economy of New Spain, but vastly enriched Spain, and transformed the global economy. New Spain was the New World terminus of the Philippine trade, although New Spain was a dependency of Spain, it was a kingdom not a colony, subject to the presiding monarch on the Iberian Peninsula. Every privilege and position, economic political, or religious came from him and it was on this basis that the conquest and government of the New World was achieved.
The Viceroyalty of New Spain was established in 1535 in the Kingdom of New Spain and it was the first New World viceroyalty and one of only two in the Spanish empire until the 18th century Bourbon Reforms. The Spanish Empire comprised the territories in the north overseas Septentrion, from North America, to the west of the continent, New Spain included the Spanish East Indies. To the east of the continent, it included the Spanish West Indies and this was not occupied by many Spanish settlers and were considered more marginal to Spanish interests than the most densely populated and lucrative areas of central Mexico. To shore up its claims in North America starting in the late 18th century, Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest explored and claimed the coast of what is now British Columbia and Alaska. The indigenous societies of Mesoamerica brought under Spanish control were of unprecedented complexity, the societies could provide the conquistadors, especially Hernán Cortés, a base from which the conquerors could become autonomous, or even independent, of the Crown.
As a result, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, since the time of the Catholic Monarchs, central Iberia was governed through councils appointed by the monarch with particular jurisdictions. Thus, the creation of the Council of the Indies became another, the crown had set up the Casa de Contratación in 1503 to regulate contacts between Spain and its overseas possessions. A key function was to gather information about navigation to make trips less risky and they were accompanied by maps of the area discussed, many of which were drawn by indigenous artists. The Francisco Hernández Expedition, the first scientific expedition to the New World, was sent to gather information medicinal plants, an earlier Audiencia had been established in Santo Domingo in 1526 to deal with the Caribbean settlements. That Audiencia, housed in the Casa Reales in Santo Domingo, was charged with encouraging further exploration, management by the Audiencia, which was expected to make executive decisions as a body, proved unwieldy.
Therefore, in 1535, King Charles V named Don Antonio de Mendoza as the first Viceroy of New Spain. After the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in 1532 opened up the vast territories of South America to further conquests, the Crown established an independent Viceroyalty of Peru there in 1540
Architecture of the California missions
And while no two mission complexes are identical, they all employed the same basic building style. Although the missions were considered temporary ventures by the Spanish hierarchy, the padres blessed the site, and with the aid of their military escort fashioned temporary shelters out of tree limbs or driven stakes, roofed with thatch or reeds. It was these simple huts that would give way to the stone. The first priority when beginning a settlement was the location and construction of the church, once the spot for the church was selected, its position would be marked and the remainder of the mission complex would be laid out. The cuadrángulo was rarely a perfect square because the Fathers had no surveying instruments at their disposal, the scarcity of imported materials, together with a lack of skilled laborers, compelled the Fathers to employ simple building materials and methods in the construction of mission structures. Since importing the quantity of materials necessary for a large complex was impossible.
Five basic materials were used in constructing the permanent mission structures, timber, brick, adobes were made from a combination of earth and water, with chaff, straw, or manure added to bind the mixture together. Occasionally pieces of bricks or shells were placed in the mix to improve the cohesiveness, the soil used may have been clay, loam, or sandy or gravelly earth. The making of the bricks was a process, derived from methods originally developed in Spain. A convenient, level spot was chosen near the building site. The ground was dug up and soaked with water, whereupon bare-legged workers would stomp the wet earth and binders into a homogeneous consistency fit for carrying to, and placing in, the brick molds. The mixture was compressed into the wooden formas, which were arranged in rows, and leveled by hand to the top of the frame. From time to time, a worker would leave an imprint of his hand or foot on the surface of a wet brick, or perhaps a literate workman would inscribe his name, when the forms were filled, the bricks were left in the sun to dry.
Great care was taken to expose the bricks on all sides, in order to ensure uniform drying, once dry, the bricks were stacked in rows to await their use. California adobes measured 11 by 22 inches, were 2 to 5 inches thick, facilities for milling lumber were almost non-existent, workers used stone axes and crude saws to shape the wood, and often used logs which only had their bark stripped from them. These methods gave mission structures their distinctive appearance, timber was used to reinforce walls, as vigas to support roofs, and as forms for door and window openings and arches. Indians used wooden carrettas, drawn by oxen, to timber from as much as forty miles away. At Mission San Luis Rey, the ingenious Father Lasuén instructed his neophyte workers to float logs downriver from Palomar Mountain to the mission site, the lack of good-sized timber forced the men to design mission buildings that were long and narrow
Southwestern United States
The population of the area is around 11 million people, with over half that in Arizona, the most populous cities are Phoenix, El Paso, Las Vegas and Tucson. Most of the area was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the Spanish Empire before becoming part of Mexico and it became part of the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. The deserts dominate the southern and western reaches of the area, the two major rivers of the region are the Colorado River, running in the northern and western areas, and the Rio Grande, running in the south. Formed approximately 8000 years ago, the Chihuahuan Desert is a dry desert. The Chihuahuan Desert spreads across the portion of the region, covering from southeastern Arizona, across southern New Mexico. While it is the second largest desert in the United States, only a third of the desert is within the United States, El Paso is the major city in this desert, with other smaller cities being Las Cruces and Roswell in New Mexico.
The Chihuahuan is a rain shadow desert, formed two mountain ranges which block oceanic precipitation from reaching the area. The most prolific plants in this region are agave and creosote bushes, when people think of the desert southwest, the landscape of the Sonoran Desert is what mostly comes to mind. Rainfall averages between 4–12 inches per year, and the deserts most widely known inhabitant is the saguaro cactus and it is bounded on the northwest by the Mojave Desert, to the north by the Colorado Plateau and to the east by the Arizona Mountains forests and the Chihuahuan Desert. The portion of the Sonora Desert which lies in the Southwestern United States is the most populated area within the region. Six of the top ten major population centers of the region are found within its borders, Tucson, Chandler, within its borders are Yuma and Prescott Arizona. The most northwest portion of the American Southwest is covered by the Mojave Desert, bordered on the south by the Sonoran Desert and the east by the Colorado Plateau, its range within the region makes up the southeast tip of Nevada, and the northwestern corner of Arizona.
In terms of topography, the Mojave is very similar to the Great Basin Desert, the Mojave is the smallest and hottest desert within the United States. The Mojave gets less than six inches of rain annually, the most prolific vegetation is the tall Joshua tree, which grow as tall as 40 feet, and are thought to live almost 1000 years. Other major vegetation includes the Parry saltbush and the Mojave sage, the Colorado Plateau varies from the large stands of forests in the west, including the largest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world, to the Mesas to the east. Although not called a desert, the Colorado Plateau is mostly made up of high desert, the Plateau is characterized by a series of plateaus and mesas, interspersed with canyons. The most dramatic example is the Grand Canyon, but that is one of many dramatic vistas included within the Plateau, which includes spectacular lava formations, painted deserts, sand dunes, and badlands. One of the most distinctive features of the Plateau is its longevity, the Plateau can be divided into six sections, three of which fall into the Southwest region