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Volcanoes of Virunga Mountains and Lake Kivu, Rwanda

1.9S 29.1E

December 11th, 2011 Category: Lakes, Mountains, Volcanoes

Rwanda - December 10th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley.

The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58% of the lake’s waters lie within DRC borders. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by mountains.

Northeast of Lake Kivu are several volcanoes, all of which are part of the Virunga Mountains. Closest to the lake’s shores is Mount Nyiragongo, whose main crater is flanked by two other indentations. It is a stratovolcano that lies just west of the border with Rwanda.

Moving to the right, one can see the Mikeno Volcano, Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi (clockwise from left) grouped together. In the upper right corner is Mount Sabyinyo, an extinct volcano. The summit of the mountain, at 3645 m, marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Lava Plans by Lake Edward, Democratic Republic of the Congo

0.3S 29.6E

October 11th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Democratic Republic of the Congo - October 3rd, 2011

This orthorectified image shows Lake Edward or Edward Nyanza, the smallest of the African Great Lakes. It is located in the western Great Rift Valley, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.

Lake Edward lies at an elevation of 920 metres, is 77 km long by 40 km wide at its maximum points, and covers a total surface area of 2,325 km2 (898 sq mi), making it the 15th-largest on the continent.

The western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley towers up to 2000 m above the western shore of the lake. The southern and eastern shores are flat lava plains. The Ruwenzori Mountains lie 20 km north of the lake.

Island Districts in Northern Lake Victoria, Uganda – April 30th, 2011

0.3S 32.2E

April 30th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Tanzania - April 15th, 2011

Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by surface area, at 68800 km2. It is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Although this thumbnail image focuses on the Ugandan and Kenyan parts of the lake, it can be viewed in its entirety in the full image.

Many islands can be observed in the northern part of the lake. The group to the left are the Ssese Islands, coterminous with the Kalangala district, which does not have territory on mainland Uganda. The largest of the islands is Bugala Island.

East of the Ssese Islands is another group, the Buvuma Islands archipelago. Like the Ssese Islands and Kalangala District, the Buvuma Islands are coterminous with Buvuma District, which also does not have territory on mainland Uganda.

Visible in the upper part of the image is Lake Kyoga, a large shallow lake complex of Uganda. It has an area of about 1,720 km² (664 square miles). The Victoria Nile flows through the lake on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert.

Vegetation Index of DRC and Neighbors Near Lake Victoria

2S 29.1E

March 25th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

DRC and Neighbors - March 23rd, 2011

The full version of this FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (left half of image) and of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania (top to bottom, right half).

Several lakes can be observed forming a chain across the middle of the image. These are (from top to bottom): Lake Albert and Lake Edward, on the DRC-Uganda border, Lake Kivu, on the DRC-Rwanda border, and Lake Tanganyika, on the DRC-Burundi border (full visible in full image; northern tip partially obscured by clouds in thumbnail). Visible to the east of these lakes is the significantly larger Lake Victoria, in Uganda and Tanzania.

The vegetation index is highest (rusty red) to the west of the lakes, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photosynthetic activity becomes progressively weaker – first green, indicating a good index, then yellow, indicating a low index – as one moves from west to east. It is also less strong to the north.

Vegetation Index of Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda

0.3S 28.0E

March 17th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda - February 18th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the border with Uganda (to the right, past the series of lakes). The lakes visible near the right edge are (from top to bottom): Lake Edward, Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika.

The levels of photosynthetic activity become higher as one moves westward, deeper into the Congo River Basin. The rusty red along the left edge indicates a high index, the green in the middle a good index, and the light green and yellow to the right a low index.