Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Archive for October 7th, 2009

Sand Dunes of the Sahara in Algeria’s Grand Erg Oriental

28.3N 3.5E

October 7th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Algeria - June 14th, 2009

Algeria - June 14th, 2009

Winds create long rows of high sand dunes in the Grand Erg Oriental, part of the Sahara Desert in Algeria. Winds over time will sweep desert sand into heaps which, given enough sand, form into a series of hills.

In some types of dunes the slope on the windward side is gradual, on the leeward steep, and such dunes may “roll” forward being blown in the direction of the wind. Vegetation does not survive in the spread of hot dry sand, unless there is water.

Zona Austral, the Southernmost Region of Chile

54.5S 70.8W

October 7th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Chile - August 25th, 2009

Chile - August 25th, 2009

The Zona Austral is one of the five natural regions of continental Chile, corresponding to the Chilean portion of Patagonia. It is surrounded by the Southern Zone and the Chacao Channel to the North, the Pacific Ocean and Drake’s Passage to the South and West, and the Andean mountains and Argentina to the East.

Here, the southernmost parts of the Zona Austral at the tip of the South American continent are visible despite some cloud cover. In the far south (Chile Austral), which extends from Chacao Channel to Cape Horn, the Andes and the South Pacific meet. This district of the country is mountainous, heavily-forested and inhospitable.

The deeply-indented coast line is filled with islands which preserve the general outline of the continent southward to the Fuegian archipelago, the outside groups forming a continuation of the Chilean Coast Range.

The heavy and continuous rainfall throughout this region, especially in the latitude of Chiloé, gives rise to a large number of rivers and lakes. Farther south this excessive precipitation is in the form of snow in the Andes, forming glaciers at a comparatively low level which in places discharge into the inlets and bays of the sea.

The extreme southern part of this region extends eastward to the Atlantic entrance to the Strait of Magellan, and includes the greater part of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego with all the islands lying south and west of it.

There are some comparatively level stretches of country immediately north of the Strait, partly forested and partlygrassy plains, where sheep farming has been established with some degree of success, but the greater part of this extreme southern territory is mountainous, cold, wet and inhospitable. The perpetual snow-line here descends to 3,500 to 4,000 ft. above sea-level, and the forest growth does not rise above an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 ft.

Kuwait City and Bubiyan Island on the Persian Gulf – October 7th, 2009

29.3N 48.0E

October 7th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Kuwait - September 7th, 2009

Kuwait - September 7th, 2009

Kuwait City, the capital and largest city of Kuwait, is located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, identifiable as a bright white area towards the bottom of this image. It has an estimated population of 63,600 (2006 estimate) within city limits and 2.38 million in the metropolitan area.

Moving up the coast, situated in the north-western corner of the Persian Gulf, the large Bubiyan Island appears as a light grey area. It is the largest island in the Kuwaiti coastal island chain, with an area of 863 km².

Bubiyan Island is separated from the mainland in the northeast by Khawr Abd Allah and from the mainland in the southwest by Khawr as Sabiyah. The latter channel trends around the northern end of Bubiyan Island, separating it from Warbah Island. Here, the water currents in these channels can be observed thanks to the radar imagery as they flow out into the gulf.

Cooper Creek Crossing South Australia

28.5S 137.9E

October 7th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Australia - September 4th, 2009

In the upper part of this image, the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers join to form the multi-channelled Cooper Creek. After their confluence, Cooper Creek spreads out into a vast area of meandering ephemeral channels, hence the nickname “Channel Country” given to this region.

The river then makes its way roughly south into the far south-west corner of Queensland before turning due west into South Australia towards Lake Eyre. In most years, it is absorbed into the earth, goes to fill channels and the many permanent waterholes, or simply evaporates without reaching Lake Eyre.

In very wet years, however, such as this one, it manages to flood the entire Channel Country and reaches the lake.  Earlier this year, Lake Eyre was filled by rainwater from flooding further north and became a large lake and habitat for animals.