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Lakes Balaton and Neusiedl, Hungary

46.8N 17.7E

May 11th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Hungary - May 8th, 2012

Visible in the lower half of this image is the light greenish-blue Lake Balaton, a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalized Sió is the only outflow. The region by the northern shores is mountainous, while the land by the southern shores is flat.

Visible to its northwest is the tan Lake Neusiedl, the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, straddling the Austrian–Hungarian border. The lake covers 315 km², of which 240 km² is on the Austrian side and 75 km² on the Hungarian side. The lake’s drainage basin has an area of about 1,120 km². From north to south, the lake is about 36 km long, and it is between 6 km and 12 km wide from east to west.

Lake Geneva at the Foot of the Alps, Western Europe

46.4N 6.5E

January 2nd, 2012 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Western Europe - December 26th, 2011

The peaks of the Alps are capped in snow in this winter image focusing on Italy, France and Switzerland. Visible at the foot of the Alps on the Swiss-French border is Lake Geneva, one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. Just under 60% of the lake is in Swiss territory, and just over 40% in French territory.

Lake Geneva, formed by a retreating glacier, has a crescent shape that narrows around Yvoire on the southern shore. It can thus be divided figuratively into the “Grand Lac” (Large Lake) to the east and the “Petit Lac” (Small Lake) to the west. The Chablais Alps border its southern shore, the western Bernese Alps lie over its eastern side.

Caspian Sea: the World’s Largest Inland Body of Water – June 9th, 2010

42.0N 50.0E

June 9th, 2010 Category: Lakes

Caspian Sea - June 1st, 2010

Caspian Sea - June 1st, 2010

The Caspian Sea is an inland salt lake between Europe and Asia, bordering Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran. Though it receives many rivers, including the Volga, Ural, and Kura, the sea itself has no outlet.

With a basin 750 mi (1,200 km) long and up to 200 mi (320 km) wide and an area of 149,200 sq mi (386,400 sq km), it is the largest inland body of water in the world.

Dutch Coastal Bodies of Water: Markermeer, IJsselmeer and Wadden Sea – May 31st, 2010

May 31st, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Netherlands - April 18th, 2010

Netherlands - April 18th, 2010

Several bodies of water are visible near the coast of the Netherlands: the Markermeer (bright green), the IJsselmeer (dark blue) and the Wadden Sea (green, closest to the open ocean).

The Markermeer is a 700 km² lake in the central Netherlands in between North Holland, Flevoland and its larger sibling, the IJsselmeer. A shallow lake at some 3 to 5 m in depth, it is named after the small former island, now peninsula, of Marken that lies within it.

IJsselmeer (sometimes translated as Lake IJssel, alternative international spelling: Lake Yssel) is a shallow lake of 1100 km² in the central Netherlands bordering the provinces of Flevoland, North Holland and Friesland, with an average depth of 5 to 6 m. It is named after the IJssel river that drains into it via a smaller lake, the Ketelmeer. The IJsselmeer is the largest lake in Western Europe.

The Wadden Sea (Dutch: Waddenzee) is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands.

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.

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