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Sediments from Tiber and Ombrone Rivers, Italy – February 10th, 2010

41.8N 12.4E

February 10th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers, Volcanoes

Italy - January 3rd, 2010

Italy - January 3rd, 2010

Sediments line the coast of Italy and flow into the Tyrrhenian Sea from rivers including the Tiber, which flows through  the city of Rome before entering the sea, and the Ombrone, which flows past the city of Grosseto. The mouth of the Tiber is visible releasing dark brown sediments in the lower right quadrant, while that of the Ombrone releases thick tan sediments near the left edge.

Three large lakes can also be seen (from top to bottom): Lake Trasimeno, which appears light blue near the upper edge, as well as Lake Bolsena and Lake Bracciano, both darker blue and closer to the center of the image. Appear 20 kilometers northwest of Lake Bolsena, in the southern Tuscany region, is Monte Amiata. It is the largest of the lava domes in the Amiata lava dome complex.

Rome, Between the Apennines and the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy – December 19th, 2009

41.8N 12.4E

December 19th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Italy - November 17th, 2009

Italy - November 17th, 2009

The city of Rome appears as a grey area near the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is located in the Lazio (Latium) region of central Italy on the Tiber River. The city is also crossed by another river, the Aniene, which joins the Tiber north of the historic centre.

Although the city centre is about 24 km (14.9 mi) inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the city territory extends to the shore, where the south-western district of Ostia is located. The altitude of the central part of Rome ranges from 13 m (43 ft) above sea level (at the base of the Pantheon) to 139 m (456 ft) above sea level (the peak of Monte Mario).

The Commune of Rome covers an overall area of about 1,285 km2 (496 sq mi), including many green areas. Visible near the city in this image are three lakes (from top to bottom): Lake Trasimeno, Lake Bolsena and Lake Bracciano. The Apennine Mountains, capped with snow on a few peaks, are visible in the upper part of the image as well.

Rome and Lake Albano, Italy

41.7N 12.6E

August 13th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Italy - July 26th, 2009

Italy - July 26th, 2009

The city of Rome reaches from the sea to the mountains on the left side of this orthorectified image of central Italy. To compare this image to an uncorrected one of a similar area, please click here.

The two dark circles to the southeast of Rome are Lake Albano (left) and Lake Nemi (right), near Rocca di Papa. Lake Albano, the larger of the two, is a volcanic crater lake in the Alban Hills of Latium, 15 miles southeast of Rome, at a height of 961 feet (293 m) above sea level.

The lake is the deepest (170 m) in the province of Latium. It is about 3.5 km long by 2.3 km wide, formed by the overlapping union of two volcanic craters, an origin indicated by the ridge in its center, which rises to a depth of 70 meters.

L’Aquila and Central Italy Struck by Earthquake – UPDATE

April 6th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Collapsed building, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AP

Collapsed building, L'Aquila

Quake epicenter © ESRI

Quake epicenter

Central Italy was struck by a powerful earthquake early Monday morning while residents were asleep. At least 150 people were killed in collapsed houses and other buildings, reported officials.

The deaths occurred mainly in L’Aquila, a medieval city about 60 miles east of Rome with a population of 68,000, and surrounding villages.

In the main image, the city of Rome is visible on Italy’s southern shore, just left of center. L’Aquila lies to the northeast, in a valley surrounded by the Apennine mountains.

The quake struck shortly after 3.30 a.m. local time and was centered in the mountainous Abruzzo region. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was believed to be about 60 miles from Rome and that its depth was 6.2 miles. People in many parts of central Italy felt the quake. Residents of Rome, which is rarely hit by seismic activity, were woken by the tremors.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the magnitude of the quake was 6.7, then lowered it to 6.3 on the Richter Scale, though Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics put it at 5.8.

Rubble was strewn throughout the city of L’Aquila and nearby towns, blocking roads and hampering rescue teams and residents who were searching for survivors among the debris.

Officials said that between 10,000 and 15,000 buildings were damaged, and that some 100,000 people had left their homes.

Rubble in street, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AFP

Rubble in street, L'Aquila

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 © ANSA

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila

Lakes in Central Italy

February 28th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Rome, Italy - February 26th, 2009

Rome, Italy - February 26th, 2009

Several lakes north of Rome (lower right quadrant) and west of the Apennine Mountains, capped by snow, can be observed here.

Lake Trasimeno or Trasimene, the lake green with algae towards the upper left, is the largest lake in the Italian peninsula south of the Po with a surface area of 128 km².

The Tiber River flows some thirty kilometers to the east of the lake, but the lake and the river are separated by hills. In fact, no major river flows directly into or out of Lake Trasimeno, and the water level fluctuates significantly according to rainfall levels and the seasonal demands from the towns, villages and farms near the shore.

South of Lake Trasimeno is Lake Bolsena, a crater lake  of volcanic origin. Its total surface is 113.5 km², and the altitude of its surface is at 305 meters above sea level. It is 151 m deep at its lowest point and 81 m deep on average.

The large lake to the southwest of Lake Bolsena is Lake Bracciano, in the Latium Region and 32 km northwest of Rome.

With a surface of 56.76 km² it is the second largest lake in the region (second only to Lake Bolsena) and one of the major lakes of Italy. It has a circular perimeter of approximately 32 km; its surface is 160 meters above sea level and its deepest point is 165 m.

It is a crater lake of volcanic origin; the collapse of the main magma chamber created the caldera now occupied by the lake. Some small craters are still recognisable around the lake and in the immediate vicinity.

As it serves as a drinking water reservoir for the city of Rome it has been under control since 1986 in order to avoid pollution of its waters. The use of motorboats is strictly forbidden, and a centralised sewer system has been built for all the bordering towns in order to avoid any spoiling of the water quality. This makes Bracciano one of the cleanest lakes of Italy.

Finally, between the Bolsena and Bracciano lakes, the smaller Lake Vico is visible. It is a volcanic lake and the highest among major Italian lakes, at an altitude of 510 m. The Lake is surrounded by the Cimini Hills, and is famous for its extensive beech forest, one of the most southerly in Europe. The elevation plus the surrounding walls of the crater apparently supply cool enough conditions for the continued survival of beeches here. A large part of the northern side of the crater is a natural preserve to protect this forest.