Rio Grande River, Texas-Mexico Border (credit: Wikipedia)
Construction of The Great Wall of China began in the 7th Century BC and stretched over 5,000 miles across the borderlands of northern China. The wall required thousands of laborers to build and maintain as it crossed high mountains, windy steppes, and sandy deserts. Much of that Great Wall now lies in ruin due to the landforms and arid environments it had to endure.
Plans for constructing big walls are on the drawing boards again but now along the US-Mexico border which runs nearly 2000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Like the earlier Chinese, construction of this new wall would have to cross mountains, grasslands, and deserts. However, an important difference exists, a river running over 1200 miles along the Texas portion of the border separating the two countries. The Rio Grande represents the entire length of the Texas-Mexico border starting at El Paso and to where it enters the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville.
Satellite photographs, captured along the entire lenth of the US-Mexico border, were processed to create an animation from west to east. The Rio Grande required more than half of the visualization. If the economics of building the new 'great wall' doesn't create pause, the landform of a winding river may prove its doom.