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Coastal and Marine Ecosystem of Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, Cuba

21.9N 77.8W

April 22nd, 2013 Category: Fires

Cuba – April 21st, 2013

Highlighted by sunglint in  the upper left quadrant of this image is the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, a group of islands that lines Cuba’s north-central Atlantic coast. Visible on the main island are several fires, marked by red and orange indicators.

The archipelago is developed on a general north-east to south-west direction, and stretches for 475 km (295 mi) from the Hicacos Peninsula and Varadero to the Bay of Nuevitas.

The entire system covers more than 75,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi) and is composed of approximately 2,517 cays and isles. The western islands are grouped in the Jardines del Rey archipelago, and contains Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Romano among others.

The coastal and marine ecosystem represented by the archipelago is undergoing conservation projects to protect the mangroves and coastal forests, which effectively create a buffer zone between the agricultural coast and the sensitive marine environment.

Brilliant Colors of Gulf of Batabanó, Cuba – February 10th, 2013

21.9N 82.7W

February 10th, 2013 Category: Image of the day

Cuba – January 25th, 2013

The Gulf of Batabanó is an inlet or strait off southwestern Cuba in the Caribbean Sea, separating mainland Cuba from the Isle of Youth. It is easily recognizable here by its bright, turquoise blue color. The northeastern section of the bay, called the Ensenada de la Broa, on the other hand, appears darker green, probably due to an influx of sediments and algal growth. The gulf’s bright blue waters are in part due to their shallow depth: less than 200 feet (61 m).

Florida Everglades and Sediments in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea – December 25th, 2012

24.3N 86.2W

December 25th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Sediments

USA, Mexico and Cuba – December 22nd, 2012

Sediments can be seen along the southwestern coast of Florida, USA (upper right), in the Gulf of Batabanó, Cuba (center right), along the western and northern coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico (lower left) and by the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana, USA (upper left). In the former three, the bright, light color is in part due to sediments and in part due to shallower depths.

Of particular note in Florida are the Everglades. Beginning in 1948 with the creation of the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Flood Control Project, much of the original greater Everglades ecosystem was drained in an effort to create a system of canals and dikes that would control the flow of water and accommodate agriculture and urban development. Some 50 percent of the original Everglades has been lost to agriculture and development but the majority of the remaining original Everglades acreage is now protected in a national park, national wildlife refuge, and water conservation areas.

Elongated Area of Low Pressure Over Northwestern Caribbean

20.0N 83.9W

May 23rd, 2012 Category: Tropical Storms

Area of Low Pressure - May 23rd, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Area of Low Pressure - May 23rd, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Area of Low Pressure

An elongated area of low pressure over the northwestern Caribbean
Sea is producing disorganized cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms. There is no well-defined center of circulation, and upper-level winds are forecast to remain unfavorable for development.

This system has a low chance (near zero percent) of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. However, locally heavy rainfall and flooding are possible over the Cayman Islands and portions of Cuba, southern Florida and the Bahamas.

Turquoise Waters Over Bahama Banks

25.0N 77.3W

May 11th, 2012 Category: Clouds

Bahamas - May 8th, 2012

The waters around the islands of the Bahamas appear bright turquoise that suddenly changes to dark blue due to the Bahama Banks. The Bahama Banks are submerged carbonate platforms that make up much of the Bahama Archipelago. Since the platforms suddenly drop off to great depths, the water above them is shallow and appears lighter in color before suddenly changing to dark blue.

Also visible in the full image are the island-nation of Cuba (below) and the Florida Peninsula, belonging to the USA (above). Both areas are covered by dotted white popcorn clouds, probably due to an increase in photosynthetic activity in the vegetation in the region.

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