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Sierra Madre Ranges and Terrain from Dallas, USA to Guadalajara, Mexico

28.9N 99.8W

March 30th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Mexico - December 31st, 2011

This image stretches from Texas, USA, across Mexico. The relatively flat terrain in Texas in the upper right quadrant contrasts with the Sierra Madre mountain ranges running parallel to both coasts of Mexico. Visible on the plains in the upper right corner is the city of Dallas, appearing as a large grey area. Another large city visible in this image is Guadalajara, located in Mexico near Lake Chapala at the bottom center.

Topography of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico

17.6N 94.9W

March 5th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Mexico - December 29th, 2011

This wide-swath ASAR image shows the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, an isthmus in Mexico that represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The isthmus includes the part of Mexico lying between the 94th and 96th meridians west longitude, or the southeastern parts of Veracruz and Oaxaca, including small areas of Chiapas and Tabasco. The states of Tabasco and Chiapas are east of the isthmus, with Veracruz and Oaxaca on the west.

At its narrowest point, the isthmus is 200 km (120 mi) across from gulf to gulf or 192 km (119 mi) to the head of Laguna Superior on the Pacific coast. The Sierra Madre breaks down at this point into a broad, plateau-like ridge. The northern side of the isthmus is swampy and densely covered with jungle. Visible in the upper right quadrant is the Términos Lagoon.

The Sierra Madre de Oaxaca mountains flatten out to form Chivela Pass before the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains resume to the south, so geographically the isthmus divides North America from Central America. However, the southern edge of the North American tectonic plate lies across the Motagua Fault in Guatemala, so geologically, the division between North America and Central America (on the Caribbean Plate) is much farther south than the isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Lagoons Near Shores of Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico

17.8N 97.7W

December 9th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Mexico - November 21st, 2011

A series of lagoons can be observed near the shores of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, including Laguna Superior (greyish tan, left) and Laguna Inferior (greenish blue, just right of the former), in the state of Oaxaca. The bright green lagoon to the right is shared between Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Laguna Superior marks the the narrowest point of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which is 200 km (120 mi) across from gulf to gulf, or 192 km (119 mi) to the head of the lagoon. The Sierra Madre breaks down at this point into a broad, plateau-like ridge, whose elevation, at the highest point reached by the Ferrocarril Transistmico railway at Chivela Pass, is 224 m (735 ft).

Cordillera Central and Lingayen Gulf of Luzon, Philippines

16.5N 121.2E

May 27th, 2011 Category: Mountains

Philippines - May 18th, 2011

This image shows central to northern Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The northern part of the island contains the large mountain range, the Cordillera Central.

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.

The Lingayen Gulf can be observed on the west side of the island in the lower left quadrant. It is an extension of the South China Sea, stretching 56 km. It sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central.

Sierra Madre Reaching Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico

17.8N 95.2W

November 22nd, 2010 Category: Mountains

Mexico - November 9th, 2010

The part of Mexico where the land is narrowest, on the right side of this image, is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It is located between the Gulf of Campeche (part of the Gulf of Mexico) to the north, and the Gulf of Tehuantepec (of the Pacific Ocean) to the south.

The Sierra Madre breaks down at the isthmus into a broad, plateau-like ridge. Its higher zones, however, are visible to the west in the left half of the image; their height is evident in comparison with the flat, low-lying lands along the coastline.