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The Islands of Viti Levu and Ovalau, Fiji – December 29th, 2009

18.1S 178.4E

December 29th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

This orthorectified image focuses on the island of Viti Levu, the largest island in the Republic of Fiji. Viti Levu is the site of the nation’s capital, Suva, visible on a peninsula near the Rewa River.

The island is home to 70% of the population (about 600,000) and is the hub of the entire Fijian archipelago. It measures 146 kilometers long and 106 kilometers wide and has an area of 10,389 square kilometers.

Geologists believe that Viti Levu has been submerged a number of times, and has been covered by lava and other volcanic materials. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions account for the somewhat rugged terrain of the island, which is divided into roughly equal halves by a north-south mountain range. The centre of the island includes the nation’s highest peak Mount Tomanivi (otherwise Mt. Victoria) rising to 1,324 meters.

Several other islands can be seen near Viti Levu, the largest of which is Ovalau, the sixth largest island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti archipelago. Situated 60 km north east from the national capital Suva and 20 km off the east coast of Viti Levu, the island is about 13 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. It covers a total area of 102.3 square kilometers and has a population of around 9,000, approximately half the Lomaiviti population.

Ovalau is characterized by its rugged topography, with little flat land apart from the Lovoni Valley in the centre of the island. The island is an eroded volcanic crater with a narrow belt of flat to udulating country between the encircling lagoon and the steep crater sides. The highest peaks are Nadelaiovalau, with an altitude of 625 meters, in the east, and Tomuna, 526 meters, in the south.

Ayeyarwady River Valley Between Chin Hills and Shan Plateau, Myanmar

22.5N 93.5E

May 31st, 2009 Category: Rivers

Myanmar - May 12th, 2009

Myanmar - May 12th, 2009

The tan color of the Ayeyarwady Valley, where the majority of the  population of Myanmar lives, contrasts with the green of the Chin Hills (left) and the Shan Plateau (right). The Ayeyarwady River is visible as a green, winding line in the center of the valley.

The Shan Plateau is the primary source of the nation’s sapphires, rubies and other gems. It  averages about 3,000 feet in elevation, and is sparsely populated.

The Chin Hills, on the other hand, are also known as the Rakhine Yoma or Arakan Yoma Range. The highest peak is Khovumtung or Khonumthung (Mount Victoria) which reaches 3,053 meters (10,500 feet). The ecoregion has diverse forests that include pines, tea and teaks.

Irrawaddy River, Myanmar (Burma) – January 5th, 2009

January 5th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Irrawaddy River and Arakan Yoma Mountains, Myanmar (Burma) - November 24th, 2008

Irrawaddy River and Arakan Yoma Mountains, Myanmar (Burma) - November 24th, 2008

This image of central Myanmar allows us to see the marked difference in terrain between the mountainous region to the West and the lowlands to the East.

The mountains, some of which are just capped by snow, are the Arakan Yoma Range (also called the Chin Hills). The highest peak is Nat Ma Taung (Mount Victoria) which reaches 3,053 meters (10,500 feet).

The rich green forests visible in the western region include pine and teak.

Moving eastward, we can see the Irrawaddy River (or Ayeyarwady River), bisecting the country from north to south. The river appears brown in color, as its waters are full of sediments, possibly from the agriculture in the region.

It is the country’s largest river (about 1350 miles or 2170 km long) and its most important commercial waterway, with a drainage area of about 158,700 square miles (411,000 km²).

The Irrawaddy starts in the north of Kachin State, at the confluence of the Mali Hka and N’Mai Hka rivers. The western Mali Hka branch arises from the end of the southern Himalayas, north of Putao.

The Irrawaddy River empties through the nine-armed Irrawaddy Delta into the Indian Ocean. In colonial times, before railways and automobiles, the river was known as the “Road to Mandalay”. Although navigable by large vessels to Myitkyina for a distance over 1600 km from the ocean, the river is also full of sandbanks and islands, making such navigation difficult.

source Wikipedia