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Corsica, the Most Mountainous Mediterranean Island

42.0N 9.1E

June 18th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Corsica and Sardinia - January 6th, 2012

This orthorectified wide-swath ASAR image shows the ridges of mountains on the French island of Corsica. Formed through volcanic explosions, it is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean. Mountains comprise two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain. Monte Cinto is the highest peak at 2,706 metres (8,878 ft) and it has 20 other summits of more than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). Visible to the south is the Italian island of Sardinia, from which it is separated by the Strait of Bonifacio.

Gulf of Asinara and Strait of Bonifacio by Sardinia and Corsica – May 27th, 2011

40.1N 9.0E

May 27th, 2011 Category: Image of the day

Italy - May 18th, 2011

The Strait of Bonifacio separates the French island of Corsica (above) and the Italian island of Sardinia (below). It is about 7 miles (11 km) wide and also divides the Tyrrhenian Sea (right) from the western Mediterranean Sea (left).

West of the straight is the Gulf of Asinara, a large bay between Asinara Island (on the western extreme of the gulf), Cape Falcone and the town of Castelsardo, in northern Sardinia, Italy.

Islands of Corsica and Elba in the Mediterranean

42.0N 9.0E

May 18th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Corsica - April 28th, 2010

Corsica - April 28th, 2010

Corsica, one of the 26 régions of France, is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean; it has an area of 3,352 sq mi (8,681 sq km). It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia.

Also visible in the upper right corner is Elba Island, off the west coast of Italy, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Elba, which belongs to Italy, has an area of 86 square miles (223 square km) and is the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. Its coast is precipitous and its interior mountainous, rising to Mount Capanne (3,343 feet [1,019 m]).

Ecological Zones of Corsica, France

42.0N 9.0E

January 18th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Corsica, France - January 3rd, 2010

Corsica, France - January 3rd, 2010

The island of Corsica, belonging to France, is divided into three major ecological zones by altitude. Below 2,000 feet (610 m) is the coastal zone, which features a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The natural vegetation is Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrubs. Much of the coastal lowlands have been cleared for agriculture, grazing and logging, which have reduced the forests considerably.

From 2,000 to 6,000 feet (610 to 1,800 m) is a temperate montane zone. The mountains are cooler and wetter, and home to the Corsican montane broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion, which supports diverse forests of oak, pine, and broadleaf deciduous trees, with vegetation more typical of northern Europe. The population lives predominantly below 3,000 feet (910 m).

From 6,000 to 9,000 feet (1,800 to 2,700 m) is a high alpine zone. Vegetation is sparse, and this zone is uninhabited. In spite of the southern location, the highest elevations are snow-capped with small glaciers, as can be observed by the white-capped peaks here.

Mountains of Sardinia and Corsica – December 23rd, 2009

41.2N 9.2E

December 23rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Sardinia and Corsica - November 17th, 2009

Sardinia and Corsica - November 17th, 2009

The islands of  Sardinia (below), belonging to Italy, and Corsica (above), belonging to France, are separated by the Strait of Bonifacio. It is about 7 miles (11 km) wide and divides the Tyrrhenian Sea from the western Mediterranean Sea. The strait is notorious for its weather, currents, shoals, and other obstacles.

Mountains comprise two-thirds of Corsica, forming a single chain, some of which is capped with snow in this image. Monte Cinto is the highest peak at 2,706 metres (8,880 ft), and 20 other summits reach higher than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft).

The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 km long) are generally high and rocky, with ample and deep bays and inlets surrounded by smaller isles. The center of the island is occupied by the Gennargentu, a large mountain massif whose highest peaks are Punta La Marmora (1,834 m), Monte Limbara (1,362 m) and Mount Rasu (1,259 m).

The island’s massifs and plateaus are separated by large alluvial valleys and flatlands; the main plains are the Campidano, located in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari, and the Nurra, in the northwest.