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Archive for October 6th, 2009

Agriculture and Desert in China’s Dzungarian Basin

45.5N 84.8E

October 6th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

China - September 4th, 2009

China - September 4th, 2009

Dzungaria is a geographical region in northwest China corresponding to the northern half of Xinjiang. It covers approximately 777,000 km2 (300,000 sq mi), lying mostly within Xinjiang, and extending into western Mongolia and eastern Kazakhstan.

The core of Dzungaria is the triangular Dzungarian Basin (also Junggar Basin) with its central Gurbantunggut Desert. It is bounded by the Tien Shan to the south, the Altai Mountains to the northeast and the Tarbagatai Mountains to the northwest.

The Dzungarian Basin is largely steppe and semi-desert; only a gap in the mountains to the north allows moist air masses to provide the basin lands with enough moisture to remain semi-desert rather than becoming a true desert. This also allows a thin layer of vegetation to grow. Here, thanks to additional irrigation, green fields cover some of the land, particularly to the south, contrasting with the sand dunes to the east.

Runoff from the surrounding mountains into the basin supplies several lakes, including the long, shallow Mana Sihu towards the center of the image.

Gareloi and Tanaga Islands, Alaska USA

51.7N 178.7W

October 6th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Alaska, USA - September 3rd, 2009

Alaska, USA - September 3rd, 2009

This orthorectified image focuses on two volcanic islands belonging to the state of Alaska, USA. The smaller island to the left is Gareloi, part of the Delarof Islands of the Aleutian Islands. It is located between the Tanaga Pass and the Amchitka Pass. The island is 9.7 km in length and 8 km wide. Its land area is 67.2297 km2, making Gareloi the largest island in the Delarof group.

Mount Gareloi, a stratovolcano, is situated in the center of the island which reaches a height of 1573 m. On the other side of a small saddle lies another peak of the island however it does not equal the height of Mount Gareloi.

The larger island to the right is Tanaga Island, one of the Andreanof Islands, in the southwest part of the Aleutian Islands. The island has a land area of 528 square kilometres (204 sq mi), making it the 33rd largest island in the United States. Its highest point is volcano Mount Tanaga at 1,806 metres (5,930 ft).

The River Po Between the Alps and the Apennines – October 6th, 2009

October 6th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Italy - September 1st, 2009

Italy - September 1st, 2009

The River Po meanders its way eastward across northern Italy, spilling greenish sediments through its delta into the Adriatic Sea. These sediments flank the coastline from Venice, north of the delta, to Ancona (in the bottom right corner of the full image). Also visible in the full image is the city of Trieste, near the border with Croatia, in the upper right.

To the north, the blue waters of Lake Garda are visible above the River Po at the foot of the Alps. Little snow can be seen on the mountains due to the warm summer temperatures. To the south, below the Po, the Apennines are also visible

Typhoon Melor (20W)

16.6N 130.0E

October 6th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Melor (20W) - October 6th, 2009

Typhoon Melor (20W) - October 6th, 2009

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Track of Typhoon Melor (20W) - October 6th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Melor

Typhoon 20w (Melor), located approximately 235 nm southeast of Okinawa, Japan, has tracked north-northwestward at 14 knots over the past six hours.

Recent animated multispectral imagery continues to show a fully-developed typhoon with a well-defined eye and animated water vapor imagery indicates that typhoon Melor has developed better poleward outflow into the mid-latitude westerlies as it is starting to crest the subtropical ridge axis.

However, recent infrared imagery reveals waning deep convection and Dvorak estimates from PGTW, KNES, and RJTD have dropped in the last 12 hours. The current intensity is based on these Dvorak estimates.

The current position is also based on fixes by the same agencies, with high confidence. The current numerical model aids are in good agreemeent with the system starting recurvature within the next 12 to 18 hours.

The aids also agree on landfall west of Tokyo, Japan, after tau 36. Maximum significant wave height at 060600z is 38 feet.

Tropical Storm Parma (19W) Hovering Near Philippines; Super Typhoon Melor (20W) on its Way

20.6N 118.8E

October 6th, 2009 Category: Tropical Cyclones, Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Parma (19W) - October 5th, 2009

Tropical Storm Parma (19W) - October 5th, 2009

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Track of TS Parma (19W), left, and STY Melor (20W), right - October 5th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Parma and Melor

In a week that saw Samoa hit by a tsnuami and Indonesia shaken by an earthquake, the Philippines, caught a break: Typhoon Parma (19W) missed the capital of Manila.

Just one week after a hurricane flooded 80 percent of Manila, killing 300 people and displacing at least half a million, the devastated city has been spared a second major storm. Typhoon Parma had threatened to dump even more heavy rains over the city, trigger more landslides, and block relief efforts, reports the CSM.

Though typhoon Parma did strike the island of Luzon, where Manila is located, and kill 16 people, it then bypassed the capital and edged toward the less densely populated north.

Parma was also downgraded to a tropical storm Monday, with winds of 59 mph and gusts of up to 75 mph, according to the Associated Press. The storm is now located approximately 330 nautical miles east-southeast of Hong Kong, has remained quasi-stationary over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 30 feet.

Parma is still expected to cause severe damage, though, dumping heavy rains not just in the northern Philippines but also Taiwan, where 6,000 villagers have been evacuated. Instead of continuing on its path away from the country, it’s predicted to linger over the city of Laoag and surrounding areas until Thursday. That’s because a third typhoon, Melor (to the right in the animated image), churning in the Pacific, is acting “like a magnet” and holding Parma in place, according to Agence France-Presse.

Super Typhoon Melor (20W), on the other hand, is projected to pass over Philippine waters but not hit the mainland. It is now located approximately 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa, and has tracked northwestward at 14 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 40 feet.