Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Archive for October 19th, 2009

Lakes Near the Taklamakan Desert, China

42.0N 87.0E

October 19th, 2009 Category: Lakes

China - September 24th, 2009

China - September 24th, 2009

Several lakes are visible in this image of western China, despite being near to the arid Taklamakan Desert. Of note on the eastern end of the desert is the dry basin of the former Lake Lop Nur, now containing an area of salt fields that appear as a light yet bright blue rectangle.

Visible just north of the Taklamakan desert is Lake Bosten, a dark blue freshwater lake located 57 km northeast of Korla, Xinjiang in the Bayin’gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. With an area of about 1,000 square kilometers, it is the largest lake in Xinjiang.

Further north, appearing greenish in color, is Lake Ulungur, in Fuhai, Xinjiang. Covering an area of 1,035 square kilometers, the lake is one of China’s ten largest freshwater lakes. Lake Ulungur is divided into two sections: Buluntuo Lake and the smaller Jili Lake.

Finally, the lower end of Lake Zaysan, a freshwater lake in eastern Kazakhstan, can be seen in the upper left corner. The ca. 1,810 km² (700 mi²) lake is located in a hollow between the Altai and Tarbagatai Mountains.

Agriculture East of the California Coast Ranges, USA

October 19th, 2009 Category: Lakes

California, USA - September 24th, 2009

California, USA - September 24th, 2009

The California Coast Ranges occupy the left side of this orthorectified image, while the valley on the right is dominated by checkered fields. Visible at the foot of the mountains in the full image, running parallel to them, is a long, thin black line; this is a motorway known as Interstate 5.

The city of Madera can also be seen in the upper right corner. It has a total area of 12.3 square miles (31.8 km²), all of which is land. Annually, there are an average of 105.2 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 30.8 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower. Average annual rainfall is 10.97 inches and there are an average of 43 days with measurable precipitation.

Upon opening the full image, the San Luis Reservoir can be seen near the city of Los Banos in the upper left corner. The San Luis Reservoir is an off-stream artificial lake on the eastern slopes of the Diablo Range, part of the Coast Ranges, approximately 12 mi (19 km) west of Los Banos. The reservoir stores water taken from the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta as the surplus water would otherwise run into the Pacific Ocean. Depending on water levels, the reservoir is approximately nine miles long from north to south at its longest point, and five miles (8 km) wide.

Tell Atlas Mountains Paralleling Mediterranean Coast of Algeria

36.1N 1.3E

October 19th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Algeria - September 29th, 2009

Algeria - September 29th, 2009

The Tell Atlas is a mountain chain over 1,500 kilometers in length that parallels the Mediterranean coast in North Africa. The chain belongs to the Atlas mountain ranges, stretching from Morocco, through Algeria to Tunisia. Here, the ranging can be seen running through Algeria.

The Tell Atlas enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate (warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters with snow at upper elevations). As a consequence, the northern slopes of the Tell Atlas are forested with cedar, pine, and cork oak. Some of this vegetation appears as green areas on the right side of the image.

In the summer a hot, dry wind, the Sirocco, blows north from the Sahara across the Tell Atlas, causing dusty, dry conditions along the northern coast of Africa. Despite the arid climate, some agriculture for barley and wheat farming is found in the Tell Atlas region.

Awaji Island and Osaka, Japan – October 19th, 2009

34.6N 135.5E

October 19th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Japan - September 24th, 2009

Japan - September 24th, 2009

The large island in the lower left quadrant of this image of Japan is Awaji Island, in Hyōgo Prefecture. The island is found in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea between the islands of Honshū (above) and Shikoku (below). The 592.17 km² island is separated from Honshū by the Akashi Strait and from Shikoku by the Naruto Strait.

Since April 5, 1998 it has been connected to Kobe on Honshū by the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Northeast of the island is Osaka Bay and the city of Osaka. Here, the Yodo River appears as a thin, dark blue line cutting through the grey of the city. The river connects the bay and Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake.