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Archive for October 16th, 2009

Öland and Småland, Sweden

56.6N 16.6E

October 16th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Sweden - September 29th, 2009

Sweden - September 29th, 2009

The Swedish island of Öland (right) has an area of 1,342 km² and is located in the Baltic Sea. It is the second largest Swedish island and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. Öland is separated from the mainland province of Småland by the Kalmar Strait.

Småland is dominated by a forested high plain where the soil is mixed with sand and small boulders, making it barren in all except the coastal areas, and unsuited for agriculture except in certain locations, notably the Kalmar Plains.

The province is rich in lakes and bogs, many of which can be seen in the left half of the image. The coast consists of an archipelago of islands and bays in the north and cultivated flatlands in the south. In total, cultivated land covers 14%, meadows 7% and forest 50%.

Cuba and Nearby Caribbean Islands

21.6N 82.8W

October 16th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Cuba - September 29th, 2009

Cuba - September 29th, 2009

The island-nation of Cuba is the focus of this image, which also includes Cuba’s second-largest island, Isla de la Juventud (meaning Isle of Youth, below the main island near the left edge), Jamaica (bottom right) and Andros Island (top right) along with several smaller islands of the Bahamas.

These islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, whose waters appear bright turquoise in shallower areas such as the Gulf of Batabanó and the Bahama Banks. The Gulf of Batabanó, between the southwestern end of Cuba and Isla de la Juventud, is less than 61 meters (200 feet) deep, and the waters of the Great Bahama Bank, around Andros Island, are generally no deeper than 25 meters.

Mount Rungwe Near Lake Malawi in Tanzania

October 16th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Volcanoes

Tanzania - September 6th, 2009

Tanzania - September 6th, 2009

Mount Rungwe, visible near the top center edge of this orthorectified image, is an inactive volcano in the Mbeya region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. With an altitude of 2960m it is southern Tanzania’s second highest peak.

Rungwe stands at the junction of the eastern and western arms of the Great Rift Valley of Africa. It dominates the mountainous country at the north-west end of the trough that contains Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa), bottom right.

The southeastern slopes of these mountains receive up to 3,000 mm of rainfall a year, the highest rainfall in Tanzania; the slopes are covered with a belt of tropical montane forest. Above the treeline, at about 2600 m, there is a belt of heathland. Much of the mountain was listed as a Forest Reserve as early as 1949.

Upon opening the full image, the city of Mbeya is visible at the top, as is Lake Ngozi, the second largest Crater Lake in Africa.

The Great Barrier Reef Parallel to the Northeastern Shores of Queensland – October 16th, 2009

12.2S 144.3E

October 16th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Australia - September 4th, 2009

Australia - September 4th, 2009

The Great Barrier Reef creates a turquoise chain off the coast of Queensland, Australia. In the full image, part of Papua New Guinea is visible in the upper left corner, while some of the Cape Yorke Peninsula can be seen in the lower left.

Only partially visible here, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, comprising over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi).