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Phytoplankton Blooms by Ireland and Scotland

49.5N 9.9W

June 7th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton MODISAqua

Ireland and UK – June 6th, 2013

A phytoplankton bloom, created by millions of microorganisms, continues to turn the waters southwest of Ireland bright shades of blue and green. A second, fainter bloom is visible north of Northern Ireland and west of Scotland. This bloom is likely less intense due to a smaller concentration of the tiny microorganisms.

Coastal Features and Sediments, United Kingdom, Ireland and France

51.5N 0.1W

August 13th, 2012 Category: Sediments

United Kingdom, Ireland and France – August 10th, 2012

While parts of England, Wales and Ireland are dotted by cloud cover, much of Scotland’s rocky coastline and mountainous terrain can be observed in the upper part of the image, as can northern France in the lower right quadrant. Visible near the right edge are sediments from the River Thames giving a green tinge to the waters along the coast of England. While the city of London is covered by clouds, Paris can be observed in the full image as a large grey area.

Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Scotland

58.9N 2.9W

November 28th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

United Kingdom - November 8th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows some of the Orkney Islands, an archipelago in northern Scotland, situated 16 kilometres (10 mi) north of the coast of Caithness. Orkney comprises approximately 70 islands of which 20 are inhabited.

The largest island, known as the “Mainland” (partially visible along the left edge in the lower left quadrant) has an area of 523.25 square kilometres (202.03 sq mi) making it the sixth largest Scottish island and the tenth-largest island in the British Isles. The largest settlement and administrative centre is Kirkwall, visible as a bright white area in the lower left quadrant.

The islands are mainly low-lying except for some sharply rising sandstone hills on Hoy, Mainland and Rousay and rugged cliffs on some western coasts. Nearly all of the islands have lochs, but the watercourses are merely streams draining the high land. The coastlines are indented, and the islands themselves are divided from each other by straits generally called “sounds” or “firths”.

Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland’s Lough Neagh

57.0N 5.4W

November 27th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Mountains

United Kingdom - November 22nd, 2011

This rare cloud-free image gives us a view of Scotland (right) and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (left), separated by the North Channel or Strait of Moyle.

The dark brown, mountainous area occupying much of the area of Scotland visible here is the Scottish Highlands. The area is very sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, and includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands.

To the southwest, Lough Neagh, a large freshwater lake, can be observed in Northern Ireland. With an area of 392 square kilometres (151 sq mi), it is the largest lake in the British Isles and ranks among the forty largest lakes of Europe. Located twenty miles (30 km) to the west of Belfast, it is approximately twenty miles (30 km) long and nine miles (15 km) wide. It is very shallow around the margins and the average depth in the main body of the lake is about 9 m (30 ft); although at its deepest the lough is about 25 metres (80 ft) deep.

Offshore Turbines of Robin Rigg Wind Farm in Solway Firth, United Kingdom – November 25th, 2011

November 25th, 2011 Category: Image of the day

United Kingdom - November 8th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows the  Solway Firth, a firth that forms part of the border between England and Scotland, between Cumbria (including the Solway Plain) and Dumfries and Galloway. It stretches from St Bees Head, just south of Whitehaven in Cumbria, to the Mull of Galloway, on the western end of Dumfries and Galloway. The Isle of Man (visible at the lower left of the full image) is also very near to the firth.

The firth comprises part of the Irish Sea. The coastline is characterised by lowland hills and small mountains. It is a mainly rural area with fishing and hill farming (as well as some arable farming) still playing a large part in the local economy.

Visible in the center of the firth are a series of dots arranged in parallel lines (best observed in full image). These are the turbines of the Robin Rigg Wind Farm, Scotland’s first offshore wind farm, which has been constructed in the Firth, on sandbank midway between the Galloway and Cumbrian coasts.

The construction of the windfarm began in 2007, and it was finally completed on 20th April 2010. Sixty Vestas V90-3MW wind turbines have been installed, with an offshore electrical substation. The 180 MW development will provide enough electricity for about 117,000 households.