Absheron Peninsula and Baku, Azerbaijan – December 7th, 2008
In this image, phytoplankton swirl in the waters of the Caspian Sea, around the Absheron Peninsula in Azerbaijan.
The Absheron peninsula is a prominent geographical feature of Azerbaijan. It extends 37 miles (60 km) eastward into the Caspian Sea and reaches a maximum width of 19 miles (30 km).
Though technically the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, visible in the upper left quadrant, the peninsula’s landscape is only mildly hilly, a gently undulating plain that ends in a long spit of sand dunes known as Shah Dili, and now declared the Absheron National Park.
In part the peninsula is dissected by ravines and characterized by frequent salt lakes.
Baku, located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, is the capital, the largest city, and the largest port of Azerbaijan. As of January 1, 2005 the population was 2,036,000.
The climate of the peninsula is hot and humid in the summer, and cool and wet in the winter. During the winter gale-force winds sweep through on occasion, driven by masses of polar air (strong northern winds Khazri and southern Gilavar are typical here); however, snow is rare at 28 m below sea level, and temperatures on the coast rarely drop to freezing.