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Posts tagged Iberian Peninsula

Mountains of Spain’s Meseta Central

40.3N 3.7W

April 10th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Spain - April 9th, 2012

The Meseta Central (“Inner Plateau”) is a vast plateau in the heart of peninsular Spain that has elevations that range from 610 to 760 m. Rimmed by mountains, the Meseta Central slopes gently to the west and to the series of rivers that form some of the border with Portugal.

The Sistema Central, described as the “dorsal spine” of the Meseta Central, divides the Meseta into northern and southern subregions, the former higher in elevation and smaller in area than the latter. The Sistema Central rims the capital city of Madrid with peaks that rise to 2,400 m north of the city and to lower elevations south of it. West of Madrid, the Sistema Central shows its highest peak, Pico Almanzor, of 2,592 m.

The southern portion of the Meseta (Spanish: Submeseta Sur) is further divided by twin mountain ranges, the Montes de Toledo running to the east with the Sierra de Guadalupe, to the west. Their peaks do not rise much higher than 1,500 m. With many easy passes, including those that connect the Meseta with the Andalusian Plain, the Montes de Toledo do not present an obstacle to transportation and communication. This chain of lower mountain ranges is separated from the Sistema Central to the north by the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula: the Tagus River.

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.

Dust Blowing Off Coast of Morocco – March 26th, 2012

28.2N 12.8W

March 26th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms

Dust and Smoke Over West Africa - March 22nd, 2012

Dust continues to blow off the coast of West Africa (click here for previous images), although the storm appears to be calming in intensity. Here, a thin veil of dust can be seen blowing off the coast of Western Sahara and Morocco, and over the Canary Islands. Visible in the upper part of the image, unaffected by the dust storm, are part of the Iberian Peninsula and the Strait of Gibraltar, separating the continents of Europe and Africa.

Sediments from Tagus and Guadalquivir Rivers, Portugal and Spain

36.7N 6.3W

March 14th, 2012 Category: Rivers

Spain - January 6th, 2012

This image shows thick patches of clouds hanging over parts of the Iberian Peninsula during the northern hemisphere winter. Visible along the coastline are sediments from rivers such as the Tagus, whose large estuary by Lisbon, Portugal, is best observed near the center left in the full image, and the Guadalquivir, which enters the Gulf of Cádiz by the city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and the Doñana National Park, in the lower right quadrant. Also visible at the lower right is the Strait of Gibraltar, partially covered by clouds. The strait separates Spain from Morocco, which can be observed upon opening the full image.

Sediments in Tagus Estuary, Portugal

38.7N 9.1W

February 29th, 2012 Category: Sediments

Portugal - December 29th, 2011

The Tagus River is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,038 km (645 mi) long, 716 km (445 mi) in Spain, 47 km (29 mi) along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km (171 mi) in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon. There, it widens to a large estuary, on which the port city of Lisbon is situated (the city can be observed upon opening the full image). The estuary appears filled with brown sediment near the image center.

The Tagus drains an area of 80,100 square kilometers (30,927 sq mi) (the second largest drainage area on the Iberian peninsula after that of the Douro River). The Tagus is highly utilized for most of its course. Several dams and diversions supply drinking water to most of central Spain, including Madrid, and Portugal, while dozens of hydroelectric stations create power. Between dams it follows a very constricted course, but after Almourol it enters a vast alluvial valley prone to flooding.