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Fire Near Houston and Galveston Bay, USA – December 5th, 2011

29.7N 95.3W

December 5th, 2011 Category: Image of the day

USA - November 17th, 2011

The city of Houston appears as a large, tan expanse near the Gulf of Mexico in this image of Texas, USA. It is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 601.7 square miles (1,558 km2); this comprises 579.4 square miles (1,501 km2) of land and 22.3 square miles (58 km2) of water. Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland and forest. Much of the city was built on forested land, marshes, swamp, or prairie, which are all still visible in surrounding areas.

Visible southeast of the city is Galveston Bay, a large estuary  connected to the Gulf of Mexico and surrounded by sub-tropic marshes and prairies on the mainland.  The water in the Bay is a complex mixture of sea water and fresh water which supports a wide variety of marine life. Here, sediments in the bay give it a tan and green color.

Visible northeast of the bay, and east of Houston, in the upper right corner, is a wildfire releasing a plume of grey smoke towards the southwest.

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