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Bankok in Chao Phraya River Basin, Thailand – February 12th, 2012

13.8N 100.6E

February 12th, 2012 Category: Image of the day

Thailand - February 10th, 2012

This orthorectified wide-swath ASAR image shows Bangkok, the capital city of and largest urban area in Thailand. It is by far the most densely populated city in Thailand with about 12 million people. The Bangkok special administrative area covers 1,568.7 km2 (606 sq mi), making it the 68th largest province in Thailand.

The Chao Phraya River, which stretches 372 km (231 mi), is Bangkok’s main geographical feature. The Chao Phraya River basin, the area surrounding Bangkok, and the nearby provinces comprise a series of plains and river deltas that lead into the Bay of Bangkok about 30 km (19 mi) south of the city center. This gave rise to Bangkok’s appellation as the “Venice of the East” due to the number of canals and passages that divide the area into separate patches of land.

Bangkok lies about two meters (6.5 ft) above sea level, which causes problems for the protection of the city against floods during the monsoon season. Occasionally after a downpour, water in canals and the river overflows the banks, resulting in floods in some areas. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has recently installed higher banks alongside some canals to keep water levels from reaching street level. There are however some downsides for Bangkok’s extensive canal routes, as the city is rumored to be sinking an average of two inches a year as it lies entirely on a swamp, and there are fears that Thailand’s capital will be submerged by 2030.