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Posts tagged Burma

Fires in Thailand and Myanmar

13.8N 100.8E

March 11th, 2010 Category: Fires

Thailand - March 5th, 2010

Thailand - March 5th, 2010

Several fires are visible in Thailand (center) and Myanmar (left), with smoke creating a hazy effect over much of those countries and their eastern neighbor, Cambodia. As we have observed in other articles published this week, hundreds of blazes in Southeast Asia were creating a veil of smoke over much of that region, including Laos and Cambodia.

Many of these fires, common during the Southeast Asia late dry season, may be agricultural, set to clear crops or pastures. Others may have been started in that manner and then accidentally spread to forest land.

Sediments in the Gulf of Martaban from the Salween and Sittang Rivers, Myanmar

16.5N 97.6E

February 25th, 2010 Category: Mountains, Rivers, Sediments

Myanmar - February 16th, 2010

Myanmar - February 16th, 2010

The Gulf of Martaban is an arm of the Andaman Sea in the southern part of Burma. The gulf is named after the port city of Mottama (formerly known as Martaban). The Salween and Sittang rivers empty into it, causing it to be full of the thick tan sediments visible here.

The Salween River (also spelled Salwine, Thanlwin or Salawin) rises in Tibet, and flows primarily southeast and then south through China and Myanmar, at one point forming the border between Burma and Thailand, before entering the Andaman Sea, over 2,800 kilometres (1,700 mi) from its source.

The river drains a long, narrow and incredibly mountainous watershed that borders on the Mekong, Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) and Chang Jiang River basins. Although the river is very long, its basin is small by comparison—only about 324,000 square kilometres (125,000 sq mi).

Near the mouth the river has an average annual discharge of 1,659 cubic metres per second (58,600 cu ft/s), although this varies widely. The river’s base flow is provided by Tibetan glaciers, although it swells dramatically by the time it reaches the lowlands near the coast, especially in monsoon season

The Sittang (also spelled Sittaung or Sittoung) is a river in south central Myanmar in Bago Division. The Pegu Range separates its basin from that of the Irrawaddy. The river originates at the edge of the Shan Plateau southeast of Mandalay, and flows southward to the Gulf of Martaban. Its length is 420 km and its mean annual discharge is around 50 cubic kilometers per year.

Although it flows through fairly flat country, the Sittaung has a notorious tidal bore at its mouth which has precluded any but very small craft navigating the river. The river is navigable for 40 km year round and for 90 km during three months of the year.  Its basin does not have the same richness for agriculture as the Irrawaddy because there is no soil flowing from the Himalayas.

Vegetation Index of Myanmar Around Irrawaddy River and in Shan State

18.2N 96.0E

February 21st, 2010 Category: Vegetation Index

Myanmar - February 16th, 2010

Myanmar - February 16th, 2010

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of Myanmar near the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River. The valley around the river appears white to yellow in color, indicating a low index of photosynthetic activity.

The hillier and more mountainous areas around the valley appear green to red, indicating a good to high rate of activity, respectively. The land also appears mostly green further east in Shan State, which borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, covering almost a quarter of Myanmar’s total area. Most of Shan State is a hilly plateau; there are higher mountains in the north and south.

Second Defile of the Ayeyarwady River near Bhamo, Myanmar

24.2N 97.2E

July 31st, 2009 Category: Rivers

Myanmar - June 29th, 2009

Myanmar - June 29th, 2009

In this orthorectified image, the Ayeyarwady River flows downward through the southern part of Kachin State, Myanmar. The two largest white areas along its banks are the towns of Bhamo (right) and Shwegu (left of center).

The Ayeyarwady arises further north in Kachin State by the confluence of the N’mai and Mali Rivers, which both have their sources in the Himalayan glaciers of Northern Myanmar.

The town of Bhamo, about 150 miles (240 km) south of the Mali and N’mai river confluence, is the northernmost city reachable by boat all the year round, although during the monsoons most of the river cannot be used by boats.

However, the city of Myitkyina, lying 30 miles (48 km) south of the confluence, is the northernmost city reachable by boat, but can only be reached during the dry season.

Between Myitkyina and Mandalay, the Irrawaddy flows through three well-marked defiles. The second defile is visible here as the curve near Bhamo.

Below the town, the river makes a sharp westward swing, leaving the Bhamo alluvial basin to cut through the limestone rocks of the second defile. This defile is about 300 feet (90 m) wide at its narrowest and is flanked by vertical cliffs about 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) high.

Kachin Hills and Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar

25.3N 97.3E

July 24th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Myanmar - June 29th, 2009

Myanmar - June 29th, 2009

The Kachin Hills are a heavily forested group of highlands in the extreme northeastern of Kachin State, the northernmost state in Myanmar. Kachin State has Myanmar’s highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi (5,889 metres (19,320 ft)), forming the southern tip of the Himalayas.

The land within the Kachin Hill tracts is roughly estimated at 19,177 sq. mi., and consists of a series of ranges, for the most part running north and south. These ranges are intersected by valleys, all leading towards the Ayeyarwady River (right) which drains the country.

The capital city of Kachin State, Myitkyina, lies on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. It is the northernmost river port and railway terminus in Myanmar. In the full, orthorectified image, some other populated areas can be seen in a valley at the lower left.