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The Cook Inlet and Nearby Features, Alaska, USA

59.5N 155.1W

October 20th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Alaska, USA - August 11th, 2009

Alaska, USA - August 11th, 2009

The junction of two mountain ranges, the Alaska Range from the North and the Aleutian Range from the South, can be noted near the center of this image of Alaska, USA. Near this juncture is Lake Iliamna, dark blue, the state’s largest lake.

East of the lake and mountains is Cook Inlet, which stretches 180 mi from the Gulf of Alaska (below) to Anchorage (above) in south-central Alaska. Here, greyish-tan sediments flow from the upper reaches of the inlet down towards the gulf.

West of the Alaska Range and Lake Iliamna, on the other hand, is a flatter area of terrain. Here, the Kuskokwim River can be seen flowing southwest towards the Bering Sea. The river, which is approximately 724 miles (1,165 km) long, is also the longest river entirely contained within one state of the USA.

Bristol Bay and the Cook Inlet, Alaska

58.7N 156.7W

June 15th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Alaska, USA - June 7th, 2009

Alaska, USA - June 7th, 2009

The Cook Inlet, far right, stretches 290 km (180 mi) from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage in south-central Alaska. Its watershed covers about 100,000 km² of southern Alaska.

The inlet is bordered on the east by the Aleutian Range, whose peaks are still snow-capped, and to the north by the Alaska River.

Several lakes are located in and near these mountains; the most visible are Becharof Lake (below) and Lake Iliamna (above). The former is located in the Aleutian Range; the latter at the northern end of the Alaskan Peninsula.

Lake Iliamna is the largest lake in Alaska. Through the Kvichak River, its waters drain into Bristol Bay, bottom center.

Bristol Bay is the eastern-most arm of the Bering Sea, about 400 km (250 mi) long and 290 km (180 mi) wide at its mouth.

The upper reaches of Bristol Bay experience some of the highest tides in the world. One such reach, the Nushagak Bay near Dillingham and another near Naknek in Kvichak Bay have tidal extremes in excess of 30 feet (9.9 m), ranking them as eighth highest in the world.

This, coupled with the extreme number of shoals, sandbars and shallows, makes navigation troublesome, especially during the area’s frequently strong winds.

Sediments pouring into Bristol Bay give its coastal waters a yellowish tinge, while those draining into the Cook Inlet are darker brown. The two lakes mentioned, on the other hand, appear dark blue and free of silt.

Mount Redoubt, near the Shores of the Cook Inlet, Alaska

March 28th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Mount Redoubt, Alaska, USA - March 18th, 2009

Mount Redoubt, Alaska, USA - March 18th, 2009

The icy waters of the Cook Inlet, right, are contrasted by the slopes of the Aleutian Range, Alaska, left. Just left of center, a white patch shows the peak of Mount Redoubt, an active volcano and the highest peak in the Aleutian Range.

It is located in the Chigmit Mountains (a subrange of the Aleutians), about 180 km (110 miles) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Mount Redoubt, also known as Redoubt Volcano, erupted in 1902, 1966,1989 and again in 2008.

Mount Redoubt is not a particularly steep peak, but it is a massive mountain: it rises 9,000 feet (2,700 m) above the surrounding valleys to the north, south, and southeast in little over 5 miles (8 km).

East of the volcano lies the Cook Inlet, or Nuti, which provides navigable access to the port of Anchorage at the northern end, and to the smaller Homer port further south.

It is a large estuary stretching 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage in south-central Alaska. It separates the Kenai Peninsula from mainland Alaska and branches into the Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm at its northern end, almost surrounding Anchorage.

The watershed covers about 100,000 km² of southern Alaska, east of the Aleutian Range and south of the Alaska Range, receiving water from its tributaries the Knik River, the Little Susitna River, and the Susitna and Matanuska rivers.

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