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The Venetian Lagoon, Italy

45.4N 12.3E

February 3rd, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Italy - December 16th, 2009

Italy - December 16th, 2009

The Venetian Lagoon, along the coast in the lower half of thisĀ  orthorectified image, is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. The lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin.

The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the north to the Brenta in the south, with a surface area of around 550 kmĀ². 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.

It is connected to the Adriatic Sea by three inlets: the Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia inlets. Sited at the end of a largely enclosed sea, the lagoon is subject to high variations in water level, the most extreme being the spring tides known as the acqua alta (Italian for “high waters”), which regularly flood much of Venice.

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