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Phoenix, city, seat (1871) of Maricopa county and also capital of Arizona, U.S. It lies follow me the Salt flow in the south-central component of the state, around 120 mile (190 km) north of the Mexico border and midway between El Paso, Texas, and also Los Angeles, California. The Salt flow valley, popularly called the sink of the Sun, consists of not just Phoenix but also nearby cities such as Mesa, Scottsdale, and also Tempe. Phoenix theatre a prominent function in the economic climate of the hill West region of the country, serving as a financial, communications, and also transportation hub. Area 450 square mile (1,165 square km). Pop. (2010) 1,445,632; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metro Area, 4,192,887; (2020) 1,608,139; Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler metro Area, 4,845,832.


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City site

Phoenix lies close to the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers and also is positioned at the too much northern part of the Sonoran Desert, an arid eco-friendly zone who characteristic plant is the nationally safeguarded saguaro cactus. Come the eastern of Phoenix are the rugged Superstition Mountains, a large complex of volcano calderas the formed around 305 million years ago; the hills reach to about 3,000 feet (900 metres) at their greatest point. The Mazatzal mountains rise come the northeast; the Verde flow flows to the west of the mountains, beginning the Salt River east of Phoenix.

The wide valley in i m sorry the city lies extend west to the Colorado River and south to the mountain chains north of Tucson, return the geographic boundaries of Phoenix end far short of those herbal barriers. The Phoenix city area—the valley of the Sun—stands in ~ an key of 1,100 feet (335 metres) above sea level. The northern and eastern end of this valley rise into the bordering volcanic peaks; the remainder is level terrain, dotted with small volcanic mountains of granite and schist. Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak, and South hill are the most prominent of these metropolitan peaks, getting to elevations of around 2,600 come 2,700 feet (790 to 820 metres).

The desert soil is alkaline, and the water in the river and also in local wells is saline and also contains various other minerals. Numerous irrigated locations in the Phoenix area room encrusted through dried mineral deposits, i beg your pardon accumulate and reduce the performance of the soil. Water is strangely abundant, given the truth that the city lies in among the most arid areas on the continent; the valley overlies a subterranean sedimentary key that have the right to hold large quantities of groundwater. However, this stores have been dramatically depleted, and also Phoenix progressively has come to depend top top water indigenous the Colorado river via the main Arizona project (CAP), an artificial waterway 336 mile (541 km) long extending from Lake Havasu top top the California border to Tucson. In addition, water native subterranean stores is piped right into the valley from far areas. In the past, virtually every one of the region’s water was supplied for agricultural purposes, although an increasing share is now apportioned for municipal use.


Phoenix has a dry, warm climate that in the winter months attracts tens of hundreds of visitors. The average daily high temperature in the winter approaches 70 °F (21 °C), however summer highs commonly rise to more than 100 °F (38 °C). The is nearly always sunny throughout the year.

Precipitation averages less than 8 inch (200 mm) annually, divided virtually evenly between the winter and summer months. In summertime, the so-called monsoon season, much of this precipitation return to the atmosphere almost immediately with evaporation or transpiration.

None the the mountains ringing Phoenix to the north and east get an elevation high sufficient to tempt much moisture. The city depends nearly wholly ~ above groundwater the flows indigenous the Salt and also Gila rivers, and also supplemental water brought in by aqueducts via the CAP.

City layout

Until fairly recently, part three-fifths that the land within the Phoenix city borders was undeveloped. In the mid-1970s a plan was proposed to develop these vacant lands through a routine of “infill” construction, taking advantage of the facilities that was currently in place. Instead, however, the city pursued a policy of linking surrounding communities, expanding outward come accommodate its cultivation population.

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Phoenix has actually grown come absorb many satellite communities, and it is surrounded by various other independent municipalities that have actually boomed on your own. These include Scottsdale, an wealthy area well-known for that is shopping and art districts, come the northeast; fractional Hills, an exclusive ar in the hills east of Scottsdale; Tempe, a middle-class suburb that is home to Arizona State University, come the east and also Mesa, the “Mormon funding of Arizona,” aside from that east; Chandler, where a high-technology centre has actually emerged, to the southeast; the once-small agricultural communities of Gilbert and Queen Creek east of Chandler; Glendale, Goodyear, and also Avondale come the west; and also Sun City, among the an initial retirement areas in the country, to the northwest.