Snowfall over the Alps – October 7th, 2008
In this beautiful, virtually cloud-free image of northern Italy we can clearly see the recent snowfall covering the Alps as well as a striking green algal bloom along the eastern coastline.
The Alps are generally divided into the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps. The division is along the line between Lake Constance and Lake Como, following the Rhine. The Western Alps are higher, but their central chain is shorter and curved; they are located in Italy, France and Switzerland.
The Eastern Alps (main ridge system elongated and broad) belong to Austria, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland. The highest peaks of the Western Alps are Mont Blanc, 4,808 metres (15,774 ft), Mont Blanc de Courmayeur 4,748 metres (15,577 ft), the Dufourspitze 4,634 metres (15,203 ft) and the other summits of the Monte Rosa group, and the Dom, 4,545 metres (14,911 ft). The highest peak in the Eastern Alps is Piz Bernina, 4,049 metres (13,284 ft).
In the picture on the left, we can take a more detailed look at the green Algal Blooms along the eastern coast of Italy, reaching in this image from Trieste in the upper area to Ancona in the lower area. The lagoon of Venice is visible on the left, as is the mouth of the River Po.
In the center of the first image on the right is Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, which was formed by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. An algal bloom is visible on its southern shore. We can also see the River Po winding its way across the land south of the lake.
In the second close-up on the right, we get a more detailed look at the snow covering the Alps, as well as Lake Constance in the upper left quadrant, which shares a triple border with Switzerland, Germany and Austria. This triple border is particular in that there is no official legal agreement regarding the exact boundaries among the three countries within the lake.