Photograph of a view of the Salton Sea at sunset, Riverside County, southern California, ca.1900-1930. Clouds above the sea partially blocks the suns rays but allows enough to penetrate creating a spectacular view of broken sunrays. The sea is calm. Mountains are visible in the distance. Picture file card reads: "Salton Sea at sunset, when it was a sea. 265' below sea level."; "The Salton Sea was formed between 1905 and 1907 when the Colorado River burst through poorly built irrigation controls south of Yuma, Arizona. Almost the entire flow of the river filled the Salton Basin for more than a year, inundating communities, farms and the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Continued filling of the Salton Sink was finally stopped in 1907, when a line of protective levees was built by boxcars dumping boulders into the breach from Southern Pacific tracks. By then, this inland lake was about 40 miles long and 13 miles wide, covering an area of about 400 square miles. The Salton Sea is currently 35 miles by 15 miles and can be as long as 40 miles by almost 20 miles in particularly wet years. It has an average depth of 29.9 feet and, at its deepest, is 51 feet. It contains 7.3 million acre feet of water and evaporates 1.3 million acre feet each year. There is a five-mile-long trench on the south end of the Sea that is 51 feet deep. The Sea is currently 228 feet below sea level. Interestingly, the bed of the Salton Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest spot in Death Valley." -- unknown author.