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Archive for October 14th, 2009

Ice Rumples and Icebergs in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica

71S 26.0E

October 14th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

Antarctica - August 16th, 2009

This large area of rumpled, cracking ice is located on the shores of Queen Maud Land (Dronning Maud Land), part of the Norwegian Antarctic Claim.

It has a land area of approximately 2.5 million square kilometers (one million sq mi), mostly covered by the Antarctic ice sheet lying between the British claim and the Australian claim.

In this part of Queen Maud Land, many icebergs can be seen breaking off the Antarctic Ice Sheet and floating into the Antarctic Ocean.

Coastline of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

October 14th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Brazil - August 31st, 2009

Brazil - August 31st, 2009

The city of Rio de Janeiro is the second largest in Brazil and South America, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America. It is also the capital of Rio de Janeiro State. The population of the City of Rio de Janeiro is about 6,136,652, occupying an area of 1,182.3 square kilometres (456.5 sq mi).

The city also boasts the largest and second largest urban forests in the world: Floresta da Tijuca  and the forest in Pedra Branca State Park. These forested areas are visible west of Guanabara Bay, their dark green vegetation standing out against the grey and tan of the surrounding urban zone.

Moving west along the coast, more forests are visible near the shoreline and on the island of Ilha Grande. Ilha Grande, with a land area of 193 km², is one of the most pristine remnants of Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest, one of the richest ecosystems in the world, and a hotspot for biodiversity and conservation.

Sweden’s Largest Lakes: Vänern and Vättern

59.0N 13.6E

October 14th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Sweden - September 29th, 2009

Sweden - September 29th, 2009

Lakes Vänern (left) and Vättern (right) are the largest lake in Sweden. The former is also the third largest lake in Europe, covering an area of 5,655 km². It is located at 44 m above sea level and is on average 27 m deep. The maximum depth of the lake is 106 m.

Geographically, it is situated on the border between the Swedish regions of Götaland and Svealand, divided into several Swedish provinces: The western body of water is known as the Dalbosjö, with its main part belonging to Dalsland; the eastern body is known as Värmlandsjön, its northern parts belonging to Värmland and the southern to Västergötland.

After Lake Vänern, Lake Vättern is the second largest lake (by surface area) in Sweden. It is a long, finger-shaped body of fresh water in south central Sweden to the southeast of Vänern pointing at the tip of Scandinavia.

The lake’s total surface area is about 1,912 km², with a drainage basin a little over double that, about 4,503 km². The deepest known point, located to the south of the island of Visingsö, is 128 meters. The average depth is 40 meters. The lake has a perimeter of about 642 km. The volume is 74 km³. These numbers tend to be fixed, as the level of the lake is regulated.

Rural and Urban Areas in Japan’s Gunma and Niigata Prefectures – October 14th, 2009

36.3N 139.0E

October 14th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Japan - September 24th, 2009

Japan - September 24th, 2009

This image stretches across Japan’s Honshu Island, from Gunma Prefecture (below) to Niigata Prefecture (above). Gunma is located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshū island.

One of only eight landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gunma is the northwestern-most prefecture of the Kantō plain. Except for the central and southeast areas, where most of the population is concentrated, it is mostly mountainous.

The prefecture’s capital, Maebashi, is situated in the sprawling grey area at the center bottom. Maebashi is located at the foot of Mt. Akagi in the northeast corner of the Kantō Plain. The Tone River, Japan’s second-longest, runs through the western part of the city. Also, Maebashi is farthest from the sea (about 120km) among all Japanese prefectural capitals.

To the north, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, is Niigata Prefecture. Niigata prefecture stretches about 240 km along the Sea of Japan from southwest to north east, with a coastal plain between the mountains and the sea.

The prefecture is generally divided into four geographical areas: Jōetsu in the south, Chūetsu at the center, Kaetsu in the north, and Sado Island. Much of the prefecture’s area visible here appears yellow, with grey patches made by large cities.