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Archive for October 5th, 2009

From Salt Deserts to Agriculture: Southwestern Bolivia and Northwestern Argentina

20.1S 67.4W

October 5th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Bolivia - August 25th, 2009

Bolivia - August 25th, 2009

Moving from west to east, Bolivia’s landscape changes from arid, high altitude desert, to the ridges of the Andes, to low, flat plains.

The desert area, near the border with Chile, includes the largest salt flat in the world, Salar de Uyuni, in the departments of Potosí and Oruro. North of the salt flat, in the Oruro department, is the greenish Lake Poopó, a large yet shallow saline body of water.

Much of the land in the lower right quadrant, on the other hand, is part of Argentina. The light tan patches on the plains, at the foot of the mountains, are agricultural areas in the province of Salta.

Agriculture and its derived industries are still an important activity in the province, adding over 10% to output. Tobacco, sugar cane and viticulture are the most important and produce most of the exports from the area. Other crops mostly for local consumption are maize, beans, citrus, bananas, and tomatoes.

Great Slave Lake, Canada – October 5th, 2009

October 5th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Canada - September 3rd, 2009

Canada - September 3rd, 2009

Northwest shore

Northwest shore

Northeast shore

Northeast shore

The Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the deepest lake in North America at 614 m (2,010 ft), and the ninth-largest lake in the world.

A remnant of a vast post-glacial lake, it is 480 km (300 mi) long and 19 to 109 km (12 to 68 mi) wide, covering an area of 27,200 km2 (10,502 sq mi) in the southern part of the territory. Its volume is 2,090 km3 (500 cu mi).

The Hay and Slave Rivers are its chief tributaries. It is drained by the Mackenzie River. Though the western shore is forested, the east shore and northern arm are tundra-like. The southern and eastern shores reach the edge of the Canadian Shield.

The East Arm of Great Slave Lake is filled with islands. The Pethei Peninsula separates the East Arm into McLeod Bay in the north and Christie Bay in the south.

Santiago, Cape Verde’s Largest Island

15.0N 23.6W

October 5th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Cape Verde - September 6th, 2009

Cape Verde - September 6th, 2009

Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde, its most important agricultural centre and home to half the nation’s population and its capital city of Praia. Santiago is located between the islands of Maio (40 km to the east, visible in the full image) and Fogo (50 km to the west) and is one of the Sotavento islands.

Santiago is the largest island of Cape Verde, with an area of 991 km². The island is mountainous, as can be observed in this orthorectified image, although slightly flatter in the southeast. The wetter climate of the interior and the eastern coast contrasts with the dryer one in the south-southwest coast.

Praia, located in the southeast coast, is the largest city of the island, and also the capital and largest city of the country. Other towns on the island include Cidade Velha, 15 km west of Praia, Cape Verde’s first capital; Assomada, 60 km north and Tarrafal in the northern part of the island 75 km from the capital.

Bodies of Water Around the Ustyurt Plateau, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

45.0N 60.0E

October 5th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Aral Sea - September 1st, 2009

Aral Sea - September 1st, 2009

The Ustyurt Plateau stretches between the Caspian Sea (left) and the Aral Sea (upper right quadrant) in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Central Asia. It extends roughly 200,000 km², with an average elevation of 150 meters, and consists primarily of stony desert.

Other notable bodies of water include the greenish-blue Karabogas Bay, lower left, a shallow inundated depression in the northwestern corner of Turkmenistan. It forms a bay of the Caspian Sea with a surface area of about 7,000 mi².

Moving eastward, the dark Sarygamysh Lake, situated in north central Turkmenistan, although approximately the northwest quarter of the lake belongs to Uzbekistan.

The greenish area to the lake’s northeast is vegetation around the Amu Darya River, which once fed the Aral Sea to its north. Since the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects, the Aral Sea has shrunken rapidly. As of 2007 it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into three separate lakes, two of which are too salty to support fish