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The Bosphorus, Istanbul and Mountainous Terrain of Turkey – February 21st, 2012

41.0N 28.9E

February 21st, 2012 Category: Mountains

Turkey - February 9th, 2012

This orthorectified wide-swath ASAR image shows the city of Istanbul, Turkey, straddling the Bosphorus. The world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea (top right) with the Sea of Marmara (top center).

Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey. The Istanbul metropolitan province (municipality) had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey’s population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe (including the Asian side of the city), after London and Moscow. The city is located in northwestern Turkey within the Marmara Region on a total area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi).

Turkey is divided into seven census regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately one-sixth of Turkey’s total land area. As a general trend, the inland Anatolian plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward. Turkey’s varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey that led to the creation of the Black Sea.

Lakes Urmia and Van Admist Snowfall, Iran and Turkey

37.6N 45.4E

February 5th, 2012 Category: Lakes

Iran and Turkey - January 3rd, 2012

Two lakes near the border of Turkey (left) and Iran (right) are visible amidst the snow: Lake Van (left, in Turkey) and Lake Urmia (right, in Iran). Lake Urmia appears bright green, framed by white salt flats. It is  a salt lake with a surface area of approximately 5,200 km² (2,000 mile²) and measurements of 140 km (87 mi) in length, 55 km (34 mi) in width, and 16 m (52 ft) in depth.

Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country. Lake Van is one of the world’s largest endorheic lakes (having no outlet). Like Lake Urmia, it is a saline lake. It receives water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Although Lake Van is situated at an altitude of 1,640 m (5,380 ft) with harsh winters, it does not freeze due to its high salinity except occasionally the shallow northern section.

Valleys and Mountains by Turkey’s West Coast

38.1N 27.0E

December 12th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Turkey - November 25th, 2011

Surrounded by water on three sides and protected by high mountains along its eastern border, Turkey generally has well-defined natural borders. This image focuses on the western coastal areas of the country, bordering the Aegean Sea. Visible offshore are some of the Aegean Islands, although most belong to Greece despite their close proximity to the Turkish mainland.

The coastal regions bordering the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. While the lowlands have fertile soil and are usually used for agriculture, mountains can be seen as well, particularly as one moves eastward.


Mountain Ranges of Southern Turkey and Cyprus

36.1N 33.4E

December 9th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Turkey - November 25th, 2011

The Taurus Mountains can be seen running through the center of this image, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east. It has many peaks rising above 3,000–3,700 m, (10,000–12,000 ft).

Two other mountain ranges can also be observed on the island nation of Cyprus, to the south: Troodos Mountains and the smaller Kyrenia Range. They encompass a central plain, the Mesaoria.  The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The highest point on Cyprus is Mount Olympus at 1,952 m (6,404 ft), located in the centre of the Troodos range. The narrow Kyrenia Range, extending along the northern coastline, occupies substantially less area, and elevations are lower, reaching a maximum of 1,024 m (3,360 ft).

Bright White Hypersaline Lake Tuz, Turkey

38.7N 33.3E

December 7th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Salt Flats

Turkey - November 25th, 2011

The saline Lake Tuz appears bright white in this image of central Anatolia, Turkey. To the north is the reservoir created by the Hirfanlı Dam, appearing dark blue in color.

Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey, with a surface area of 1,665 km2 (643 sq mi), and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. The lake, occupying a tectonic depression in the central plateau of Turkey, is fed by two major streams, groundwater, and surface water, but has no outlet. Brackish marshes have formed where channels and streams enter the lake. Arable fields surround the lake, except in the south and southwest where extensive seasonally flooded salt-steppe occurs.

For most of the year, it is very shallow (approx.0.4 m (1 ft)). During winter part of the salt is dissolved in the fresh water that is introduced to the lake by precipitation and surface runoff (to 32.9% salinity). During the summer the lake dries up exposing an average of 30 cm thick salt layer in August. This mechanism is used as a basis for the process of the salt mines in the lake.