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Archive for November 23rd, 2009

Lakes in Mongolia’s Uvs Province and China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Lakes

Mongolia and China - October 7th, 2009

Mongolia and China - October 7th, 2009

Uvs is one of the 21 aimags (provinces) of Mongolia. It is located in the west of the country, 1336 km away from the national capital Ulan Bator. Its capital is Ulaangom, which lies 936m above sea level.

Parts of the steppe in this province are protected as the World Heritage Site Uvs Nuur Basin. In the north, just out of view, the province borders the Russian Federation for 640km, in the east 340 km of border lies between Uvs and Zavkhan province. In the south and west it borders with Khovd and Bayan-Ölgii provinces for 200km each.

The province occupies 4.45% of the national territory, which is equivalent of 69,585 sq. km. Sixty percent of the total area of the province belongs to the mountainous climatic zone, and 40% to the Gobi semi-desert.

The province is named after Mongolia’s biggest lake, Uvs Nuur, touching the top edge of the image. Also visible here are the other five major lakes of Mongolia’s Great Lakes Depression: Lakes Khyargas (below Lake Uvs), Airag (smaller, just south of the former), Khar-Us (southwest of Lake Khyargas), Khar (east of the former) and Dörgön (south of Lake Khar).

Another body of water, Lake Ulungur, is visible near the center of the left edge. This lake, as well as the rest of the land in the lower left quadrant, belongs to China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Rainforest Habitat Around Amazon River – November 23rd, 2009

2.9S 58.2W

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Brazil - September 29th, 2009

Brazil - September 29th, 2009

The Amazon River flows across the Brazilian state of Amazonas, east of Manaus. Towards the center, the large Lake Canaçari is visible near the upper banks of the river. Ninety-eight percent of the state of Amazonas is covered by rainforest. However, this delicate ecosystem is threatened by deforestation, such as that visible near the left edge of the image.

The rainforest is divided into three types of habitat: igapos, várzeas and low plateau. Igapos are permanently flooded lands, where the roots of vegetation are always submerged. Várzeas are higher than igapos; the land is only submerged when rivers are at their highest during the wet season. Finally, low plateau areas are higher still and thus never submerged. Much of the area of and around Lake Canaçari is várzea, as is the greenish area south of the lake and the river.

Mountains of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Spain

36.9N 1.8W

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is a nature reserve in southeastern Spain, near the city of Almería. The city is visible on the coast on the left side of this orthorectified image, while the park runs northeastward along part of the coastline starting at the bottom of the image.

It is the largest terrestrial-maritime reserve in the European Western Mediterranean Sea, covering 460 km² including the town of Carboneras, the mountain range of Sierra de Cabo de Gata, and 120 km² of the sea as a part of a marine reserve.

It is of volcanic origin and is centred around the Cabo de Gata headland. Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is characterised by volcanic rock formations – lava flows, volcanic domes, volcanic calderas.

Between the village of San Miguel and the Cabo de Gata Point are salt flats (Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata) separated from the sea by a 400 m (0.24 mi) sand bar. The salt flats are a Ramsar site.

The area is semi-arid to the extent of being the driest location in Europe. The average temperature is 18 °C and it has the lowest rainfall in the Iberian peninsula and all of Europe, its average precipitation being a mere 120 to 180 mm (4.72 to 7.09 in) annually.

Timor and Nearby Islands in Maritime Southeast Asia

9.8S 124.3E

November 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Timor-Leste - September 24th, 2009

Timor-Leste - September 24th, 2009

Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. The largest island in this image, it is divided between the independent state of East Timor (or Timor-Leste), and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.

The island’s surface is 11,883 square miles (30,777 km²). The name is a variant of timur, Malay for “east”; it is so called because it is at the east end of a chain of islands. The closest of these islands belong to the Alor Archipelago (due north of West Timor), which in turn is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Visible below the southwestern tip of Timor is the island of Rote, while the island above the northeastern end is called Wetar, part of the Barat Daya Islands, including Wetar.

Timor has older geology and lacks the volcanic nature of the northern Lesser Sunda Islands. The orientation of the main axis of the island also differs from its neighbors. These features have been explained as the result of being on the northern edge of the Indo-Australian Plate as it pushes into Southeast Asia.