View of the receding Salton Sea
An aerial view shows dead palm trees on the beach near Salton City. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci

Aerial and ground photos taken of the Salton Sea, California’s largest inland lake, show the dramatic effects of the state’s worst drought since 1977.

Its receding shoreline has caused an ecological crisis as exposed silt is blown into surrounding areas.

From the air, brown furrowed fields stretch as far as the eye can see and the sun beats down on an almost evaporated canal that looks like a gaping wound.

Dusty former boat launches have fallen into disuse, too far from the waters they once served.

Drought has scorched much of the West, prompting farmers in California to leave fields fallow and triggering water and energy rationing in several states.