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Wildfire in Sierra de Francia, Spain

40.5N 6.1W

July 24th, 2012 Category: Fires

Portugal and Spain – July 23rd, 2012

Spain and Portugal are experiencing problems with wildfires this summer. Here, smoke from a blaze in Spain’s Sierra de Francia, a mountain range located at the southern end of province of Salamanca, Castile and León, can be seen blowing southward from near the image center. Most of the Sierra de Francia’s territory, together with the valley of Las Batuecas was declared a natural park under the name Parque Natural de Las Batuecas-Sierra de Francia.

Wide-Swath Image of Northern Portugal and Northwestern Spain – October 20th, 2009

42.5N 5.5W

October 20th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Portugal and Spain - August 27th, 2009

Portugal and Spain - August 27th, 2009

A Coruña

A Coruña



The main image here is an orthorectified wide-swath ASAR (radar) image of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain. The swath is five times wider than a normal IMM image, making it possible to observe larger areas.

The close-ups, on the other hand, examine smaller sections of the original image. One focuses on the city of A Coruña, the second largest city in Galicia in northwestern Spain. A Coruña is a busy port located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean.

The other close-up shows the city of León, the capital of León province in the autonomous community of Castile and León, in northwest Spain. The city is located below the Cantabrian Mountains.

Spain’s Meseta Central and Duero River

41.6N 4.7W

July 24th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Spain - May 30th, 2009

Spain - May 30th, 2009

The Douro or Duero is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, with a total length of 897 km. It flows from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in the province of Soria, across northern-central Spain (here) and Portugal to its outlet at Porto.

In its Spanish section, the Duero crosses the great Castilian Meseta Central and meanders through five significant provinces of the autonomous community of Castile and Leon: Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora, and Salamanca.

The Meseta Central (“Inner Plateau”), whose terrain appears mostly golden yellow here, is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain, with elevations that range from 610 to 760 m.

Rimmed by mountains, the Meseta Central slopes gently to the west and to the series of rivers that form some of the border with Portugal. The area visible here is part of the plateau’s northern subregion.

Cantabrian Mountains above Castilla y León Tablelands, Spain

March 12th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Cantabrian Mountains, Spain - February 24th, 2009

Cantabrian Mountains, Spain - February 24th, 2009

Part of the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León is visible here. The Cantabrian Mountains (top) are covered by snow; they make a sharp divide between “Green Spain” to the north, and the dry central plateau.

Their southern slopes create a rain shadow, causing the flatter lands below to be arid and golden yellow in color. The land north of the northern slopes, on the other hand, is green and fertile as it receives heavy rainfall from the Bay of Biscay.

This mountain range (Cordillera Cantábrica in Spanish) extends for more than 300 kilometers (180 miles) across northern Spain. They stretch east-west, nearly parallel to the sea, as far as the pass of Leitariegos, also extending south between León and Galicia.

As a whole, the Cantabrian Mountains are remarkable for their intricate ramifications, but almost everywhere, and especially in the east, it is possible to distinguish two principal ranges, from which the lesser ridges and mountain masses radiate.

One range, or series of ranges, closely follows the outline of the coast; the other, which is loftier, forms the northern limit of the great tableland of Castile and León.

The coastal range rises in, some parts sheer above the sea, and everywhere has so abrupt a declivity that the streams which flow seaward are all short and swift.