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Posts tagged Sierra Madre Range

Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico

April 22nd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Mexico - April 13th, 2009

Mexico - April 13th, 2009

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is an isthmus in Mexico that represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Geographically, the isthmus divides North America from Central America.

The isthmus includes the southeastern parts of Veracruz and Oaxaca, which are on the west, as well as small areas of Chiapas and Tabasco, which are east of the isthmus. Here, part of the Yucatán Peninsula can also be seen to the right.

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is 200 km (125 miles) across at its narrowest point from gulf to gulf, or 192 km (120 miles) to the head of Laguna Superior on the Pacific coast. The both coasts of the isthmus are relatively free of sediments, while that of the peninsula is not.

The Sierra Madre breaks down at this point into a broad, plateau-like ridge, whose elevation, at the highest point reached by the Tehuantepec railway at Chivela Pass, is 224 m (735 ft).

The northern side of the isthmus is swampy and densely covered with jungle, as can be observed from its green and brown colors.

Mountains and Valleys of Luzon, Philippines

March 26th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Philippines - March 22nd, 2009

Philippines - March 22nd, 2009

Luzon is the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines and one of the three island groups in the country. As an island group, it includes the island of Luzon itself, plus the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the main and outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro in the south.

Luzon’s area is 104,688 square kilometers, making it the world’s 15th largest island. It is the fifth most populous island in the world. Located on Luzon are the country’s capital, Manila, and its most populous city, Quezon City.

To the west of Luzon island is the South China Sea (Luzon Sea in Philippine territorial waters), to the east is the Philippine Sea, and to the north is Luzon Strait containing Babuyan Channel and Balintang Channel.

The main part of the island is roughly rectangular in shape and has the long Bicol Peninsula protruding to the southeast. The northern part of the island contains the largest mountain range in the country, the Cordillera Central, where Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the country at 2,922 meters, is located.

To the east of the Cordillera Central is the large Cagayan Valley. To the east of the valley rises the Sierra Madre mountain range, easily the longest range in the country, which snakes southwards into the central and southern part of the island. Between it and the Zambales Mountains to the west is the largest plain, the Central Luzon plain. This plain, approximately 11,000 km² in size, is the country’s largest producer of rice.

The largest lake in the country, and also the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, the Laguna de Bay (Old Spanish, Lake of Bay town). Its size and green waters make it easily identifiable towards the southern part of the island.