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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mesas in the Glass Mountains of western Oklahoma.

A mesa (Spanish and Portuguese for "table") is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape.

It is a characteristic landform of arid environments, particularly the southwestern United States. Many examples are also found in Spain, Sardinia, North and South Africa, Arabia, India, Australia, badlands and Colorado regions of North America. The largest mesa in the world is considered to be the Grand Mesa located in western Colorado in the United States.

The term "mesa" is used throughout the United States to describe a flat-topped mountain or hill. In Spanish such a landform is more usually known as a meseta.[1]



Mesas in the region of Logudoro in northern Sardinia.
Cerro Negro one of a few mesas near Zapala, Argentina.

Mesas are formed by weathering and erosion of horizontally layered rocks that have been uplifted by tectonic activity. Variations in the ability of different types of rock to resist weathering and erosion cause the weaker types of rocks to be eroded away, leaving the more resistant types of rocks topographically higher than their surroundings.[2] This process is called differential erosion. The most resistant rock types include sandstone, conglomerate, quartzite, basalt, chert, limestone, lava flows and sills.[2] Lava flows and sills, in particular, are very resistant to weathering and erosion, and often form the flat top, or caprock, of a mesa. The less resistant rock layers are mainly made up of shale, a softer rock that weathers and erodes more easily.[2]

The differences in strength of various rock layers is what gives mesas their distinctive shape. Less resistant rocks are eroded away on the surface into valleys, where they collect water drainage from the surrounding area, while the more resistant layers are left standing out.[2] A large area of very resistant rock, such as a sill may shield the layers below it from erosion while the softer rock surrounding it is eroded into valleys, thus forming a caprock.

Differences in rock type also reflect on the sides of a mesa, as instead of smooth slopes, the sides are broken into a staircase pattern called "cliff-and-bench topography".[2] The more resistant layers form the cliffs, or stair steps, while the less resistant layers form gentle slopes, or benches, between the cliffs. Cliffs retreat and are eventually cut off from the main cliff, or plateau, by basal sapping. When the cliff edge does not retreat uniformly, but instead is indented by headward eroding streams, a section can be cut off from the main cliff, forming a mesa.[2]

Basal sapping occurs as water flowing around the rock layers of the mesa erodes the underlying soft shale layers, either as surface runoff from the mesa top or from groundwater moving through permeable overlying layers, which leads to slumping and flowage of the shale.[3] As the underlying shale erodes away, it can no longer support the overlying cliff layers, which collapse and retreat.

When the caprock has caved away to the point where only a little remains, it is known as a butte.

Mesas on Mars

There is a transitional zone on Mars known as the fretted terrain which lies between highly cratered highlands and less cratered lowlands. The younger lowland exhibits steep walled mesas and knobs. The mesa and knobs are separated by flat lying lowlands. They are thought to be formed from ice-facilitated mass wasting processes from ground or atmospheric sources. The mesas and knobs decrease in size with increasing distance from the highland escarpment. The relief of the mesas range from nearly 2km to 100m depending on the distance they are from the escarpment. [4]

See also


  1. ^ "meseta". DRAE. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Easterbrook, Don J. (1999). Surface Processes and Landforms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 
  3. ^ Choreley, Richard J.; Stanley A. Schumm, David E. Sugden (1985). Geomorphology. New York: Methuen. 
  4. ^ Baker, David M. Morphological Analyses of Mesas and Knobs in the Northwest Fretted Terrain of Mars; Constraints on the Presence and Distribution of Ice-Facilitated Mass-Wasting. Ed. Alexander K. Stewart and James W. Head. Vol. 40. Issue 2. pp. 72. United States: Geological Society of America (GSA) : Boulder, CO, United States, 2008.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Mesa, population 440,000 (2004 est.), is in Maricopa County. It is Arizona's third-largest city, and is part of the Greater Phoenix urban complex.

Mesa was founded in January 1878 by Mormon (Latter-day Saint or LDS) pioneers and its population is still roughly one-tenth Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates one of its oldest temples in Mesa (the Mesa Arizona Temple), and the city is a hub for Latter-day Saints residing in the Phoenix Metro area. Mesa is one of the United States' fastest-growing cities, and currently ranks as the 37th-largest. 2006 Census Bureau estimates put the city's population at 460,155. The city has a larger population than better-known United States cities such as Cleveland, Miami, Minneapolis, Saint Louis, or Saint Paul.

Although it has a large population, Mesa is a "bedroom community." Neighborhoods across the city are diverse — some areas have experienced urban blight, while others contain elaborate custom homes.

Get in

By Car

If you happen to be coming from an "Easterly" direction (a.k.a. New Mexico), that means you'll probably be taking the State 60 highway right through the 17 exits that comprise Mesa, as part of the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport [1] is situated to the West of Mesa and is the major air hub for all of Arizona and the Southwest United States. Flights arrive and depart to domestic and international destinations. One tip: If you're prone to airsickness, try to get flights into this airport that arrive either before noon or after sundown, particularly during late spring and early summer. The high elevation, hot sun, and spring winds combine to produce thermals that can make afternoon arrivals an extremely bumpy proposition.
  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport[2] is situated in southeast Mesa next to the ASU Polytechnic campus. [3] This airport offers flights to 14 destinations in the United States. Has flights thought Allegiant Air and Vision Airlines. SkyValue offers scheduled charters to/from Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, Indiana, only 25 miles southeast of Chicago.

By Rail

The Valley Metro Light Rail runs through Mesa, connecting to Tempe and Downtown Phoenix. From Sky Harbor Airport, take the free shuttle to the light rail station.

Get around

Mesa is laid out on a straightforward north-south, east-west grid pattern as regards its major streets. Center Street and Main Street are perpendicular to each other and, as suits their names, intersect in the city center in a manner that provides an excellent reference point and makes city navigation relatively easy.

  • Mesa Arts Center.[4] 1 East Main Street. Located in downtown Mesa, this uniquely designed building features theatres, art galleries, and contemporary public art spaces. It is also notable for being the largest arts center in Arizona.
  • Mesa Mormon Temple.[5] 101 South LeSueur. This unique building, located just east of downtown is notable for being the third largest Mormon temple outside of Salt Lake City. A must see at night.
  • Arizona Museum for Youth.[6]. 35 N. Robson. Nationally renowned fine arts museum for children aged 1-12.
  • Arizona Museum of Natural History.[7]. 53 N. Macdonald. This rapidly expanding museum features an interesting array of cultural and natural history artifacts from the American Southwest.
  • Cactus League Spring Training.[8]. 1235 N. Center St. A treat for baseball fans happens every spring with the Cactus League Spring Training games happening all over Phoenix and Tucson.
  • Commemorative Air Force Museum.[9]. 2017 North Greenfield Road. Dedicated to the preservation in flying condition of the great war planes that dominated the skies of World War II. The Confederate Air Force Museum at Falcon Field is home to the authentically restored World War II B-17 bomber, "Sentimental Journey." Out of the 12,731 B-17s built during WWII, there are about 13 left flyable and approximately eight flying in the United States. In addition to "Sentimental Journey" the CAF Museum also maintains a B-25 Mitchell bomber, SNJ, C-45, and a Grumman Guardian.
  • Fighter Combat International.[10]. 5865 S. Sossaman Rd. Fly an actual dogfight mission in the cockpit of a jet. Starting at $750.
  • Mesa Historical Museum.[11]. 2345 N. Horne Street. This small museum features displays of the different phases of Mesa's history.
  • Desert Belle Paddleboat Cruises.[12]. 14011 N. Bush Highway. 90-minute cruises aboard the desert belle paddleboat on Saguaro Lake which is known for towering canyon walls, wildlife, and desert/mountain vistas.
  • Outback Safari Company.[13]. Take a hummer tour of the Sonorana desert surrounding Mesa.
  • Park of the Canals.[14]. 1710 N. Horne. This 31-acre park includes evidence of ancient Hohokam Indian canals dating back to 700B.C. and a beautiful desert botanical garden featuring a wide variety of cacti.
  • Rose Garden at Mesa Community College.[15]. 1833 W. Southern Ave. Largest rose garden in the Desert Southwest includes 4,600 bushes and more than 450 varieties. Open year-round with peak bloom in April.
  • Saguaro Lake Ranch Trail Rides.[16]. 13020 Bush Highway. Offering guides trail rides surrounding Saguaro lake. Desert scenery and mountain vistas. Sunset rides offered.
  • Salt River Tubing and Recreation.[17]. 1320 N. Bush Highway. Float down the Salt River East of Mesa on a inflatable inner tube. Enjoy the desert views and wildlife along the way. This activity is known as a very popular party spot.
  • Tonto National Forest, Mesa District.[18]. 5140 E. Ingram St. Stop into this Park Ranger office and pick up a map before heading out on the hiking trails. The Tonto National Forest is the fifth largest in the United States. Desert to Mountain terrain.
  • Arizona Fall League.[19]. 1235 N. Center St. The Arizona Fall league is known to feature the up and coming baseball stars of tomorrow. Mesa Hohokam park is home to the Mesa Solar Sox whose players include those from teams such as the SF Giants, Cubs, and Reds.
  • Arizona Renaissance Festival.[20]. 12601 E Us Highway 60. Starting the second weekend in February, and for eight weekends and Presidents' Day, take U.S. 60 east through Mesa and Apache Junction to Gold Canyon, to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Jousting, juggling, Ded Bob, music, mirth, mayhem, turkey legs, cinnamon almonds, birds of prey, Scratch the Village Lout, Three Guys and a Bunch of Drums, beer, onsite ATMs, and indoor plumbing!
  • Chicago Cubs Spring Training.[21]. 1235 N. Center St. Spend an afternoon watching the MLB Chicago Cubs take on any number of teams during spring training at Hohokam Park. Spring training runs from late February to late March annually.
  • Jesus the Christ.[[22] (Mormon Passion Play/Musical) Billed as "Mesa Arizona's Easter Pageant," this free "community Easter celebration" is apparently, according to its promoters, the "Largest Annual Outdoor Easter Pageant in the World." You might want to get your seats or spots on the lawn well in advance of its April showtimes.
  • Bass Pro Shops.[23]. 1133 N. Dobson Rd. 170,125 Square feet of any kind of outdoor equipment you could need.
  • Dana Park.[24]. 1700 S. Val Vista Dr. Upscale, boutique style shopping with sparkling fountains and merchants offering jewelry, home accessories, fashion clothing, gourmet foods, and unique dining.
  • Mesa Riverview.[25] 1061 N. Dobson Rd. A brand new outdoor shopping center. Stores include Bass Pro Shops, Cinemark Theatre, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, Petco, Walmart, Marshalls, Office Max, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Future anchors include Sports Authority.
  • Superstition Springs Mall.[27]
  • Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill, 1744 S Val Vista Dr, 480 633 8226. Homemade tortillas, huge burritos, addicting taco salads with spicy avocado ranch dressing. Ahh the sweet pork.
  • Matta's, 932 E. Main St., 480 964 7881. The Mexican restaurant on the east side of town since 1953, hosted by the Matta family. Nice atmosphere with strolling mariachis in the evening. Recently closed, possibly reopening soon.
  • Pete's Fish and Chips, 22 S. Mesa Dr., 480 964 7242, [28]. Eight other locations in the Phoenix Valley. Forget the tartar sauce -- "Pete's special sauce" is to die for. Family owned and operated since 1947. Only cash is accepted.
  • Ned's or Steve's Krazy Sub, Best subs in Mesa. Cant beat the lunch special. Try the Poorboy.
    • Ned's: 1927 N Gilbert Rd, 480 464 0033.,1356 S. Gilbert Rd. Suite B-1, 480 898 8894.
    • Steves: 1211 N Country Club Dr Mesa, 480 835 0330,

or 6853 E Main Street (Power and Main next to Greenbacks), 480 924 SUBS.

  • Rosa's Mexican Grill,328 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201; Tel. (480) 964-5451. The original Rosa's. Everything on the menu is excellent, a family favorite. Best shrimp tacos anywhere.
  • Waldo's BBQ, 4500 E. Main St., 480 807 6475. Located in the eastern portion of town, Waldo's serves up everything you could ask from a BBQ place, all with a great atmosphere.
  • Organ Stop Pizza, 1149 East Southern Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85204 (SW corner of Southern and Stapley, off the 60), 480.813.5700, [29]. About 5-9 PM, more depeding on season.. Organ Stop Pizza is an informal restaurant with a twist: It is home to the world's largest Wurlitzer pipe organ. Each night guests are treated to music from "The Mighty Wurlitzer", played by one of the staff organists who have all received "Organist of the Year" awards by the American Theatre Organ Society. Good pizza, salad, drinks, and a variety of other choices are available at great prices. under $10 per person.  edit
  • RT O'Sullivan's Bar and Grill 1010 W Southern Ave

Mesa, AZ 85210, (480) 844-1290‎. This is a great place to watch the game but get there early because it fills up.

  • Arizona Golf Resort, 425 South Power Road, +1 480 832-3202, Toll-free: 800 528-8282, [30]. Located 30 minutes from Phoenix, it feature a championship golf course, meeting facilities, onsite dining as well as many other amenities.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown Mesa, 651 E. Main Street, +1 480 621-6375, [31]. Discover the Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown hotel in Mesa, Arizona. Our affordable lodging offers comfortable family guest rooms, spacious suites and a convenient location near exciting local attractions.
  • Mesa Hilton. 1011 West Holmes Avenue.
  • Quality Inn & Suites, 1410 S. Country Club Drive, +1 480 964-2897, [32]
  • Sleep Inn, 6347 E. Southern Ave, +1 480 807-7760, [33]
  • Westgate Painted Mountain Country Club, 6302 E. McKellips Road Mesa, Arizona 85215, 1-888-808-7410[34]. A Mesa, Arizona golf resort near Phoenix, offering family lodging and accommodations with panoramic views & featuring an 18-hole, par 70 championship golf course.
  • Courtyard Phoenix Mesa, 1221 South Westwood Ave, 4804613000.  edit

Stay Safe

Mesa has a fairly high crime rate compared to some other American cities, but most of it is property crime of more concern to residents than to visitors.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Gr. Mosá; Moabite Stone, ms‘; Heb., mys‘, meaning "deliverance" according to Gesenius).

A King of Moab in the ninth century B. C., whose history is given in IV Kings, iii. He paid tribute to Achab, King of Israel, "a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred thousand rams with their fleeces" (verse 4). This seems to have been paid annually, and was possible since Moab was rich in pastures; accordingly Mesa is styled nqd, which, though left untranslated in the Greek text, means "sheep-owner" (Gesenius). After Achab's death Mesa refused to pay tribute, on which account Joram, King of Israel, Josaphat, King of Juda and the King of Edom entered into an alliance against him. They went by the southern route passing through an arid country, where they would have perished of drought, had not the prophet Eliseus miraculously supplied them with water. The ditches they had dug by command of the prophet were filled, and at sunrise the Moabites "saw the waters over against them red, like blood" (verse 22). Thinking their enemies had killed one another, they rushed to the camp with the cry "Moab to the spoils" (verse 23), only to be driven back with great slaughter. The allies followed. Mesa having tried, with seven hundred warriors, to cut his way through the besiegers and failed, took his eldest son, and upon the wall of the city, in sight of all, put him to death. "There was great indignation in Israel", so that for reasons not given in detail, "they departed from him".

The Moabite Stone, perhaps the greatest Biblical discovery of modern times, throws some light on the period referred to. Through the learning and enterprise of M. Clermont-Ganneau, the inscription on the stone was published, and the stone itself is now one of the treasures of the Louvre, Paris. The monument, discovered in 1868 at Khîbán (Dibon) in the land of Moab, is of basalt, about three feet eight inches by two feet three inches and fourteen inches thick. It resembles a head-stone, and is inscribed with thirty-four lines of writing, in which Mesa gives us the chief events of his reign. The stone was unfortunately broken by the Arabs as soon as they saw Europeans taking an interest in it; but squeezes had been taken previously, so that the inscription is almost intact. The fragments were collected, and missing parts supplied by plaster. A writer in Smith's "Dict. of the Bible" (s. v. MOAB), knowing nothing about the Moabite Stone, says: "From the origin of the nation and other considerations, we may perhaps conjecture that their language was more a dialect of Hebrew than a different tongue". This conjecture the Moabite Stone makes a certainty. "The historical allusions and geographical names which we find in this inscription of Mesha tally so well with the O. T. that a suspicion could be aroused as to the genuineness of the stone" (Jour. of the Am. Or. Soc., XXII, 61). Suspicions have been aroused, but scholars almost unanimously set them aside as groundless. From the evidence furnished by the stone, we may conclude that Josaphat, King of Juda, and Mesa, King of Moab, might have conversed, each in his own tongue, and understood each other. The old Phœnician character (found also in the Siloam inscription), the words, the grammatical forms and peculiarities of syntax in the two languages are nearly identical. The difference of pronunciation we cannot, of course, estimate since the vowels were not written. While the stone seems to be somewhat at variance with Scripture, yet the two substantially agree: Mesa says "Omri (Amri) King of Israel oppressed Moab", mentions his own revolt and adds, "Chemosh (Chamos) delivered me from all kings". He also describes his work of fortifying Moab, and as this made the north very strong, we see why the allies took the route south of the Dead Sea to attack him. The Bible hints at some disaster to the invaders, who withdrew suddenly on the very point of taking the city; while Mesa, like all Oriental monarchs in their records, may have magnified his victories, and either omitted or minimized his defeats. The discrepancies therefore are only apparent, and chronological difficulties would be explained with better knowledge of the history of the period.

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
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