Monterrey, the second largest industrial area in Mexico, is home to an estimated 3 million people. Located at the base of the dark brown Sierra Madre Oriental, this city sprawls across a significant area (gray, lower righthand corner). Located in northern Mexico midway between Mexico City and the U.S. border, Monterrey serves as a vital link between Mexico and its NAFTA trade partner to the north. Eighty-five percent of all products exported by Mexico go to the United States.
The dark brown Sierra Madre Oriental in this scene is the southern extension of the Rocky Mountain chain, which, together with the Canadian Rockies, divides the North American continent. The light brown, dumbbell-shaped mountains in the left part of the scene are considerably shorter and their chaotic pattern attests to the geologic activity experienced in this area. Indeed, the crescent shape of the mountains south of Monterrey are part of a unique section of the Sierra Madre Oriental where the chain bends sharply before continuing southward. Sparse rainfall in this semiarid region results in little vegetative growth, giving the region its light brown color.
March 1994, image STS-62-151-376.