This Envisat image shows the major Russian city of St. Petersburg, located at the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland, and beside it the blue waters of Lake Ladoga, Europe's largest freshwater body.
St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) is Russia's second city, with a population of around 4.7 million.
It's located on the delta of the Neva River and its centre can be noted in the image as a cream-pink area on the eastern extremity of the Gulf of Finland, standing out from the surrounding green.
Often referred to as the 'Venice of the North', the city centre dates back to 1703 and was built by Tsar Peter the Great.
St. Petersburg is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Looking at the city in detail the bridges that connect the island naval base of Kronstadt to the mainland can be seen.
To the east of the city is the 17 600 square km area Lake Ladoga (Ladozhskoye Ozero), one of the 15 largest freshwater reservoirs in the world. It is approximately 210 km long and 130 km wide with a maximum depth of 225 metres.
Originally of glacial origin, Lake Ladoga is the main source of drinking water for the inhabitants of St. Petersburg. Some 32 rivers flow into the Lake and only one – the Neva – flows out.
The Lake has rich and varied plant and animal life and is the sole home of the critically endangered Lake Ladoga ringed seal, a subspecies adapted to freshwater.
However run-off from agriculture and industry has polluted the Lake waters during recent decades, leading to an increasing incidence of 'eutrophication' where fertiliser chemicals and eroded soil encourage runaway algae growth that uses up available oxygen.
Further to the west of the image can be seen the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn, the capitals of Finland and Estonia respectively.
Helsinki is the pinkish mass about two-thirds of the way west along the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland, while Estonia faces it on the other coast.
To the north of the images we can see the densely forested regions of northern Russia and Finland, interspersed by lakes and smaller towns. One interesting point is that the border between Russia and Finland can be clearly seen even from space.
Look north from the eastern side of the Gulf of Finland and the Russian side of the border is appreciably greener.
In Finland most old-growth forest has been clear-cut and transformed into coniferous plantations, but during the Soviet era all access to the Russian border was strictly controlled.
The inadvertent result was to preserve a 'green belt' in this area, even as old-growth forests elsewhere in the country were cut down.
Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) acquired this image on 19 August 2002, working in Full Resolution Mode to supply a spatial resolution of 300 metres. It covers an area of 672 by 670 km.
ESA Permanent Mission in Russia
Subscribe To TerraDaily Express
Boeing Completes Work On The World's Most Detailed Terrain Data
St Louis MO (SPX) Apr 04, 2005
Boeing recently delivered the final installment of Digital Terrain Elevation Data to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, completing work on the most complete, medium-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|