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Posts tagged The Netherlands

Vegetation Index of Northern Europe at End of Winter

52.3N 8.9E

March 31st, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Northern Europe - March 19th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of part of Europe, including Denmark (center), Norway and Sweden (left to right, above), and parts of England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany (left to right, below).

The vegetation index across most of the image is quite low (yellow), although this is to be expected since the image is from the last days of the northern hemisphere winter. Some good levels of photosynthetic activity (green), however, can be seen along the coast in the lower left quadrant.

Green Waters of the Markermeer, the Netherlands – June 11th, 2009

52.5N 5.2E

June 11th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Netherlands - May 30th, 2009

Netherlands - May 30th, 2009

Sediments and algae color bodies of water near the Dutch coast various shades of brown and green. Particularly striking is the bright yellow-green Markermeer (bottom center), a 700 km² lake in the central Netherlands between North Holland, Flevoland and its larger sibling, the IJsselmeer.

A shallow lake at some 3 to 5 m in depth, it is named after the small former island, now peninsula, of Marken that lies within it. The southwest side of the lake is known as the IJmeer.

The Markermeer used to be part of the Zuiderzee, a saltwater inlet of the North Sea. This inlet was dammed off by the 32 km long Afsluitdijk (Closure Dike) in 1932, turning the Zuiderzee into the freshwater IJsselmeer.

The following years saw the reclamation of extensive tracts of land as large polders in a massive project known as the Zuiderzee Works. Part of the construction of the last polder was building the Houtribdijk, also called Markerwaarddijk, finished in 1976, which hydrologically splits the IJsselmeer in two, the southern section being the Markermeer.

The Markermeer was not originally intended to remain a lake; one of these polders, the Markerwaard, was to occupy the area of the current Markermeer. However, because of changing priorities and doubts about the financial feasibility, the Markerwaard was indefinitely postponed in the 1980s and the Markermeer has since begun to become a valuable ecological and recreational asset of its own.

The Markermeer is used as a freshwater reservoir and a buffer against floodwaters and droughts. In 2003 the Netherlands was hit by drought, and several minor dikes were endangered. Water from the Markermeer was used to keep the area surrounding Amsterdam wet, thereby keeping the dikes safe.

Sediments in North Sea

February 4th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

France, Belgium and Holland - January 30th, 2009

France, Belgium and Holland - January 30th, 2009

Sediments are visible in the North Sea along the coasts of England (left) and France, Belgium and The Netherlands (right).

The amount of sediments is greatest along the shorelines of The Netherlands and Belgium. Fewer sediments are present in the English Channel and Strait of Dover (bottom left), and along the coast of France, which is framed by a greenish color.

The green from the sediments is also present in the center of the sea. Its streaked patterns seem to indicate the direction of the water currents.

The West Frisian Islands and the Houtribdijk, Holland – February 2nd, 2009

February 2nd, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Holland (The Netherlands) - January 30th, 2009

Holland (The Netherlands) - January 30th, 2009

The West Frisian Islands are a chain of islands in the North Sea off the Dutch coast. The islands visible here belong to Holland (the Netherlands); however, the chain continues further east as the German East Frisian Islands.

From west to east the islands are: Noorderhaaks, Texel, Vlieland, Richel, Griend, Terschelling, Ameland, Rif, Engelsmanplaat and Schiermonnikoog. The ones obscured by clouds, continuing to the East, are:  Simonszand, Rottumerplaat, Rottumeroog and Zuiderduintjes.

The Frisian Islands are nowadays mostly famous as a holiday destination. Ferries allow tourists and residents to move from island to island.

Below the islands is what was formerly known as the Zuiderzee, a shallow inlet of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands.

In the 20th century, however, the majority of the Zuiderzee was closed off from the North Sea (leaving the mouth of the inlet to become part of the Wadden Sea) and the salt water inlet changed into a fresh water lake called the IJsselmeer.

The water in the inlet contains a dark green algal bloom that appears more intense in the souther section. This is because the lower part is actually a shallow lake called the Markermeer.

The Markermeer and the IJsselmeer are separated by a dike called the Houtribdijk. It is 30 kilometers long and connects the cities of Lelystad and Enkhuizen. The structure itself is not visible in the image, but it’s precise location can be identified as the line where the algae changes from bright green to dark greenish-black.

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