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Posts tagged Cantabrian Mountains

Phytoplankton Bloom and Fires on Iberian Peninsula – March 29th, 2012

42.8N 7.1W

March 29th, 2012 Category: Fires, Image of the day, Mountains, Phytoplankton

Fires on Iberian Peninsula - March 28th, 2012


Fires can be seen in two areas of the Iberian Peninsula: by the west coast near the Spain-Portugal border, and by the northern coast, by the Cantabrian Mountains. A plume of smoke from the former blows over the Atlantic Ocean, will smoke from the latter trails out over the Bay of Biscay. Also visible near the western coast is a phytoplankton bloom, visible more extensively in the full image.

Cantabrian Mountains Parallel to Bay of Biscay, Spain

42.9N 6.4W

December 4th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Portugal and Spain - November 26th, 2011

The full version of this image offers a detailed view of the contours of the Cantabrian Mountains, one of the main systems of mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula. They extend for more than 180 miles (300 km) across northern Spain, from the western limit of the Pyrenees to the edges of the Galician Massif close to Galicia, along the coast of the Cantabrian Sea.

The Cantabrian Mountains stretch east-west, nearly parallel to the sea, and make a sharp divide between “Green Spain” to the north, and the dry central plateau. The north facing slopes receive heavy cyclonic rainfall from the Bay of Biscay, whereas the southern slopes are in a rain shadow.

Santander and Mountains of the Cantabria Region, Spain

43.4N 3.8W

November 28th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Spain - November 12th, 2009

Cantabria is a Spanish historical region and autonomous community, bordered on the north by the Cantabrian Sea. Its capital city is Santander, visible at the top center of this orthorectified image along the shores of Santander Bay, the most prominent indentation in the coastline.

Cantabria is a mountainous and coastal region, with important natural resources. The coastal area is a strip of low, wide and gently rolling valleys some 10 kilometers in width, whose altitude does not rise above 500 meters, and which meets the ocean in a line of abrupt cliffs broken by river estuaries, creating rias and beaches.

To the south, the coastal strip rises to meet the Cantabrian mountains. This is a long barrier made up of abruptly rising mountains parallel to the sea. The ranges are mostly made of limestone with karst topography, and occupy most of Cantabria’s area. They form deep valleys oriented north-south. The torrential rivers are short, fast flowing and of great eroding power, so the slopes are steep.

The valleys define different natural regions, delimited physically by the intervening mountain ranges: Liébana, Saja-Nansa, Besaya, Pas-Pisueña, Miera, Asón-Gándara and Campoo. The Escudo Range, a mountain range of 600 to 1,000 metres high that covers 15 or 20 km in a parallel line to the coast in the west part of Cantabria.

Towards the south are higher mountains, whose crests mark the watershed between the drainage basins of the Rivers Ebro, Duero and those that flow into the Bay of Biscay. These peaks generally exceed 1,500 m from the Pass of San Glorio in the west to the Pass of Los Tornos in the eastern part: Peña Labra, Castro Valnera and the mountain passes of Sejos, El Escudo and La Sía. The great limestone masses of Picos de Europa also stand out in the southwest of the region: most of their summits exceed 2,500 m, and their topography is shaped by the former presence of glaciers.

Agriculture Around the Esla and Óbrigo Rivers, Spain – October 30th, 2009

42.0N 5.6W

October 30th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Spain - September 24th, 2009

Spain - September 24th, 2009

Rivers flowing down from the Cantabrian Mountains in Spain’s Province of León are flanked by bright green agricultural areas. The two principal rivers visible are the Óbrigo (left) and the Esla (right), which converge below Benavente.

The Esla River is a tributary of the Duero River which starts in the Cantabrian Mountains and is 286 km in length, crossing from north to south the provinces of León and Zamora. It is the largest tribuary of the Duero in terms of discharge; in fact, at its mouth, it has a greater discharge than the Duero itself does at that point.

The Órbigo River, also flowing through the provinces of León and Zamora, begins at the convergence of the Luna River and the Omaña River in the town of Santiago del Molinillo. Green fields extend far eastward from its banks, almost converging with those along the banks of the Esla.

Wide-Swath Image of Northern Portugal and Northwestern Spain – October 20th, 2009

42.5N 5.5W

October 20th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Portugal and Spain - August 27th, 2009

Portugal and Spain - August 27th, 2009

A Coruña

A Coruña



The main image here is an orthorectified wide-swath ASAR (radar) image of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain. The swath is five times wider than a normal IMM image, making it possible to observe larger areas.

The close-ups, on the other hand, examine smaller sections of the original image. One focuses on the city of A Coruña, the second largest city in Galicia in northwestern Spain. A Coruña is a busy port located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean.

The other close-up shows the city of León, the capital of León province in the autonomous community of Castile and León, in northwest Spain. The city is located below the Cantabrian Mountains.