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Water Pollution in Lake Maracaibo and Gulf of Venezuela, Venezuela and Colombia – June 6th, 2013

9.5N 71.3W

June 6th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Sediments MODISAqua

Venezuela and Colombia – June 5th, 2013

Though undoubtedly shocking and disconcerting, the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is hardly the first incident of its kind in the region. Starting in the 1920s, American and British subsidiaries of Standard Oil of New Jersey, Gulf and Royal Dutch Shell turned environmentally pristine Lake Maracaibo (below), which empties out into the Gulf of Venezuela (above) and the Caribbean, into toxic sludge.

Travel to Lake Maracaibo today and you can still see the relics of the pioneering petroleum past: hundreds of offshore oil derricks dot the horizon as far as the eye can see. During the 1920s oil was a messy business and blow-outs, fires and fantastic gushers were a common occurrence. Just as in Louisiana today, the oil industry in Lake Maracaibo put delicate lakeshore mangroves in danger as well as tropical wildlife.

The water used by local residents for domestic uses came from the lake itself, and reportedly there was little risk of getting sick from the water as it was clean, such that one could even see the head of a coin or a needle in the water. With the arrival of the oil companies however, the water became dirty (click here for more information).

Gulf of Venezuela, Bounded by Venezuela and Colombia – November 20th, 2012

11.5N 71W

November 20th, 2012 Category: Image of the day

Venezuela and Colombia – November 19th, 2012

The Gulf of Venezuela is a gulf of the Caribbean Sea, in the north of South America. It is located between Paraguaná Peninsula (right) of the Falcón State in Venezuela and Guajira Peninsula (left) in the Guajira Department of Colombia.  A 54 km (34 mi) strait, actually an artificial navigation channel, connects it with Maracaibo Lake to the south (partially visible through the clouds). Although some greenish sediments can be seen in the gulf, it is considerably clear in comparison with past image (click here)

Maracaibo on Tablazo Strait Near Gulf of Venezuela

10.6N 71.6W

December 30th, 2011 Category: Sediments

Venezuela - December 24th, 2011

Lake Maracaibo (below) is a large brackish bay in Venezuela. It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait (55km) at the northern end, and fed by numerous rivers, the largest being the Catatumbo. It is commonly considered a lake rather than a bay or lagoon, and at 13,210 km² it would be the largest lake in South America.

While the lake appears mostly sediment-free, tan and green sediments can be seen in the Gulf of Venezuela to the north. It is a gulf of the Caribbean Sea bounded by the Venezuelan states of Zulia and Falcón and by Guajira Department, Colombia. Also of note in the image is the city of Maracaibo, visible as a grey area on the western bank of the Tablazo Strait.

Sediments in the Gulf of Venezuela, Between Colombia and Venezuela

10.6N 71.6W

November 28th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Colombia and Venezuela - November 22nd, 2011

Green sediment- and algae-laden waters seep out of Maracaibo Lake below) and into the Gulf of Venezuela. The two are connected by a 54 km (34 mi) strait.

The Gulf of Venezuela is a gulf of the Caribbean Sea bounded by the Venezuelan states of Zulia and Falcón and by Guajira Department, Colombia. Located in the north of South America, it is situated between Paraguaná Peninsula (right) of the Falcón State in Venezuela and Guajira Peninsula (left) in Colombia.

Sediments in Gulf of Venezuela and Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela – June 24th, 2011

9.5N 71.3W

June 24th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Venezuela - June 21st, 2011

Sediments give the Gulf of Venezuela a greenish hue. Those near the Guajira Peninsula (left) are lighter in color than those entering the gulf from Lake Maracaibo (bottom).

The sediments and algae in the Lake Maracaibo, actually a large, brackish bay, are dark green. It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait (55km) at the northern end, and fed by numerous rivers, the largest being the Catatumbo.

 

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