Los Angeles to San Joaquin Valley #3473

#3473 Los Angeles to San Joaquin Valley by JVPD
California's topography poses challenges for road builders. Northwest of Los Angeles, deformation of Earth's crust along the Pacific-North American crustal plate boundary has made transportation difficult. Direct connection between metropolitan Los Angeles (image lower left) and California's Central Valley (image top center) through the rugged terrain seen on the left side of this image was long avoided in favor of longer, but easier paths. However, over the last century, three generations of roads have traversed this terrain. The first was "The Ridge Route", a two-lane road, built in 1915, which followed long winding ridge lines that included 697curves. The second, built in 1933, was to become four-lane U.S. Highway 99. It generally followed widened canyon bottoms. The third is the current eight lane Interstate 5 freeway, built in the 1960s, which is generally notched into hillsides, but also includes a stretch of several miles where the two directions of travel are widely separated and driving is "on the left", a rarity in the United States. Such an unusual highway configuration was necessary in order to optimize the road grades for uphill and downhill traffic in this topographically challenging setting. This stereoscopic image was generated by draping a Landsat satellite image over a preliminary SRTM elevation model. Two differing perspectives were then calculated, one for each eye. They can be seen in 3-D by viewing the left image with the right eye and the right image with the left eye (cross-eyed viewing), or by downloading and printing the image pair, and viewing them with a stereoscope. When stereoscopically merged, the result is a vertically exaggerated view of the Earth's surface in its full three dimensions. Landsat has been providing visible and infrared views of the Earth since 1972. SRTM elevation data matches the 30 meter resolution of most Landsat images and will substantially help in analyses of the large and growing Landsat image archive.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/NIMA [0003-0701-0820-1720] by 0003

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ca, calif, california, central valley, geography, jpl, los angeles, nasa, san joaquin valley, the ridge route