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Posts tagged Fjords

Fjords of Western Greenland, Sediments, Phytoplankton and Climate Change

63.8N 52W

February 16th, 2013 Category: Glaciers and Ice Caps, Phytoplankton

Greenland – January 26th, 2013

Greenlandic fjords are located at the junction between the ocean and the Greenland Ice Sheet and therefore sensitive to future climate change. However, little is known about the fjord-glacier link, and fjords are in
general understudied. Furthermore, biological studies and basic ecological understanding remain very incomplete.

However, recent research describes differences in plankton community structure in the offshore West Greenland system towards a glacial outlet fjord, and the results suggest differences in offshore and fjord systems. Results suggest that the high suspended sediment concentrations in the fjord cannot explain the spatial distribution of plankton communities, pointing instead the importance of oceanfjord-glacier interaction. In this image, the lighter blue areas along the coast indicate the presence of sediments and/or phytoplankton (click here for more information).

Climate Change Leading to Darkening of Norway’s Fjords

60.3N 4.2E

February 8th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Norway – January 22nd, 2013

Numerous fjords can be seen along the western coast of Norway in this image. New research has suggested that the waters of Norway’s fjords and coasts are becoming darker as a result of climate change. The darkening is primarily being caused by the increasing levels of organic compounds in the waters, brought to the coasts via regional rivers and lake drainage.

This darker water has been resulting in fewer marine areas with fish, and more with jellyfish. The jellyfish benefit from the darker waters, while the fish have a harder time competing with them because of the increased darkness.

According to University of Bergen marine biologist, Dag L. Aksnes, the process has probably been occurring over many decades. And there is clear evidence that recent changes in weather patterns and in the climate are accelerating it (click here to read more).

Geographic Extremes in Norway’s Finnmark County

70.4N 22.9E

May 17th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Norway - April 18th, 2010

Norway - April 18th, 2010

Finnmark is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. Situated at the Northernmost part of continental Europe, where Norway swings eastward, Finnmark has always been an area where east meets west, in culture as well as in nature and geography.

Knivskjellodden in Nordkapp municipality (on Magerøya) is the northernmost point of Europe; Kinnarodden on Nordkinn Peninsula is the northernmost point on the European mainland. Honningsvåg in Finnmark claims the northernmost city of the world, and Vardø is the easternmost town in Norway and Western Europe. It is actually located further east than both St. Petersburg and Istanbul.

By land, Finnmark borders Troms county to the west, Finland (Lapland) to the south and Russia (Murmansk Oblast) to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the northwest, and the Barents Sea (Arctic Ocean) to the north and northeast.

The coast is indented by large fjords, which in a strict sense are false fjords, as they are not carved out by glaciers. Some of Norway’s largest sea bird colonies can be seen on the northern coast. The highest point is located on the top of the glacier Øksfjordjøkelen, which has an area of 45 km2 (17 sq mi).

Lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau, New Zealand – December 4th, 2009

45.4S 167.7E

December 4th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

New Zealand - October 22nd, 2009

New Zealand - October 22nd, 2009

Two large lakes near the southern tip of New Zealand‘s south island can be seen by the snow-capped Southern Alps. To the north, with a reversed “N” shape, is Lake Wakatipu, a finger lake in the southwest corner of Otago Region, near its boundary with Southland.

With a length of 80 kilometres, it is New Zealand’s longest lake, and, at 291 km², its third largest. It is at an altitude of 310 metres, towards the southern end of the Southern Alps.  The Dart River flows into the northern end, the lake then runs south for 30 kilometres before turning abruptly to the east. Twenty kilometres further along, it turns sharply to the south, reaching its southern end 30 kilometres further south, near Kingston.

The lake is drained by the Kawarau River, which flows out from the lake’s Frankton Arm, 8km east of Queenstown. Queenstown is on the northern shore of the lake close to eastern end of its middle section. The lake is very deep, its floor being as low as 100 metres below sea level.

To the southwest is the larger Lake Te Anau, covering an area of 344 km², making it the second-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and the largest in the South Island. Lake Te Anau is, however, the largest lake in Australasia by fresh water volume.

The main body of the lake runs north-south, and is 65 km in length. Three large fiords form arms to the lake on its western flank: North Fiord, Middle Fiord and South Fiord. Several small islands lie in the entrance to Middle Fiord, which forks partway along its length into northwest and southwest arms. The lake lies at an altitude of 210 m, and since its maximum depth is 417 m, much of its bed lies below sea level.

Several rivers feed the lake, of which the most important is the Eglinton River, which joins the lake from the east, opposite the entrance to North Fiord. The outflow is the Waiau River, which flows south for several kilometres into Lake Manapouri. The town of Te Anau lies at the south-eastern corner of the lake, close to the outflow.

Most of the lake is within Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. Other than the Te Anau township, the only human habitation close to the lake is the farming settlement of Te Anau Downs, close to the mouth of the Eglinton River. Between these two settlements the land is rolling hill country, but elsewhere the land is mountainous, especially along its western shore, where the Kepler and Murchison Mountains rise 1,400 m above the surface of the lake.

Fjords of British Columbia Coast, Canada

50.7N 125.6W

October 17th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Canada - July 26th, 2009

Canada - July 26th, 2009

The British Columbia Coast is Canada’s western continental coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The aerial distance from one end of the coast to the other 965 km. However, because of its many deep inlets and complicated island shorelines, the total length of the British Columbia Coast is over 27,000 km, making up about 13% of the Canadian coastline at 202,080 km.

The coastline’s geography is most comparable to that of Norway and its heavily-indented coastline of fjords. The great fjords of the British Columbia Coast rival those of Norway in length and depth but are surrounded by higher mountains.

Here, several inlets and fjords stand out due to their bright green color. Upon opening the full image, one can see that there are tan sediments in the northern reaches of the fjords where rivers empty into them.