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Wetlands of the Venetian Lagoon and Po Delta, Italy

45.4N 12.3E

May 30th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Sediments

Italy - April 28th, 2010

Italy - April 28th, 2010

The Venetian Lagoon (center left) appears green in this image of northern Italy. The lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. It is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin.

The lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the north to the Brenta in the south, with a surface area of around 550 km². It is around 8% land, including Venice itself and many smaller islands. About 11% is permanently covered by open water, or canal, as the network of dredged channels are called, while around 80% consists of mud flats, tidal shallows and salt marshes.

Another important area of wetlands is visible to the south: the delta of the River Po. Much of the delta is a protected park, with 53,653 ha (132,580 acres) containing wetlands, forest, dunes and salt pans. It has a high biodiversity, with 1000-1100 plant species and 374 vertebrate species, of which 300 are birds.

Southern Italy, Between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas and the Gulf of Taranto

40.4N 16.4E

November 17th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Italy - October 7th, 2009

Italy - October 7th, 2009

The terrain of southern Italy appears divided in two, between the flatter lands near the Adriatic Coast (above) and the more mountainous terrain towards Tyrrhenian Sea (below).

Upon opening the full image, many cities and towns in the Apulia region appear as tan circular areas on the flatter Adriatic side. The main exception to this generally plain-like topography is the Gargano Peninsula (top left corner), home to Monte Gargano.

Also of note on the peninsula are Lake Lesina  (left) and Lake Varano (right), both dark green, separated from the Adriatic by a thin strip of land and dunes. Sediments line the coast of the peninsula, particularly to the right. Other swirls of sediments are also visible in the full image along the shores of the Gulf of Taranto (right).

Continuing to the right along the shoreline, towns cities such as Bari appear as tan patches amidst the green terrain. On the bottom right, by Apulia’s border with the Basilicata Region, the Basento River spills tan sediments into the Gulf of Taranto.

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European Countries Near the Alps and the Adriatic Sea

45.2N 15.6E

November 3rd, 2009 Category: Lakes

Hungary, Croatia and Serbia - September 24th, 2009

Hungary, Croatia and Serbia - September 24th, 2009

Several countries in Europe can be observed here, north of the Adriatic Sea. The countries along the shores of the sea include Italy below, Croatia along most of the upper shores, and Montenegro to the right after the Croatian islands. Sediments swirl outwards from rivermouths along the coast of Italy, while the shoreline of Croatia and its islands is mostly clear.

Bordering Croatia, in dark green areas of abundant vegetation, are Bosnia and Herezgovina to the east and Slovenia to the west. Hungary also borders Croatia to the north, although the landscape here is greenish-brown in color. Lake Balaton also stands out amidst the Hungarian terrain, its waters a bright turquoise green.

To the west of Hungary lies Austria. The Alps, somewhat snow-covered in this image taken at the beginning of Autumn, are visible here in Austria and northern Italy.

Lakes Trasimeno and Bolsena, Italy

October 23rd, 2009 Category: Lakes

Italy - September 24th, 2009

Italy - September 24th, 2009

Sediments swirl in the Adriatic Sea off the east coast of Italy. Located near the center of the shoreline visible here is the port city of Ancona. Moving southwest across the Apennines, two lakes are visible: the green Lake Trasimeno and the dark blue Lake Bolsena.

Lake Trasimeno (or Trasimene) is the largest lake on the Italian peninsula south of the River Po, with a surface area of 128 km², slightly less than Lake Como. Trasimeno is surrounded for half of its shores by hills.

The Tiber River flows some thirty kilometers to the east of the lake, but the lake and the river are separated by hills: no major river flows directly into or out of Lake Trasimeno, and the water level fluctuates significantly according to rainfall levels and the seasonal demands from the towns, villages and farms near the shore.

Lake Bolsena, on the other hand, is a crater lake of volcanic origin, which was formed starting 370,000 years ago following the collapse of a caldera of the Vulsini volcanic complex into a deep aquifer. The lake is supplied entirely from the aquifer, rainfall and runoff, with one outlet at the southern end.

The lake has an oval shape typical of crater lakes. The long axis of the ellipse is aligned in a north-south direction. The bottom is roughly conical reaching a maximum depth at a point in the middle. The entire lake is surrounded by hills on the flanks and summits of which are the comuni. Elevations on the north of the lake are the highest, with a maximum of 702 m (2,300 ft).

The River Po Between the Alps and the Apennines – October 6th, 2009

October 6th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Italy - September 1st, 2009

Italy - September 1st, 2009

The River Po meanders its way eastward across northern Italy, spilling greenish sediments through its delta into the Adriatic Sea. These sediments flank the coastline from Venice, north of the delta, to Ancona (in the bottom right corner of the full image). Also visible in the full image is the city of Trieste, near the border with Croatia, in the upper right.

To the north, the blue waters of Lake Garda are visible above the River Po at the foot of the Alps. Little snow can be seen on the mountains due to the warm summer temperatures. To the south, below the Po, the Apennines are also visible

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