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distinctive natural feature of western North America that is equally divided into rugged, north-south-trending mountain blocks and broad intervening valleys. It covers an arid expanse of about 190,000 square miles (492,000 square km) and is bordered by the Sierra Nevada range on the west, the Wasatch Mountains on the east, the Columbia Plateau on the north, and the Mojave Desert on the south. With the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts, the Great Basin forms one of four divisions of the North American Desert. Most of the U.S. state of Nevada, the western half of Utah, and portions of other nearby states lie within its boundaries. The Great Basin is the largest subdivision-consisting of the northern half-of the Basin and Range Province, a physiographic feature extending southward to include southern Arizona, southeastern and central New Mexico, the western tip of Texas, and northwestern Mexico