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Saint-Pierre and Miquelon Islands Atlantic Ocean
979 of 1114

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon Islands, Atlantic Ocean

January 17, 2006
This Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) image is centered over Saint-Pierre and Miquelon islands.

This territorial collectivity of France is located in the North Atlantic Ocean south of the coast of the Canadian island of Newfoundland. As can be seen in the image, a low, sandy isthmus divides Miquelon in Grande Miquelon to the north and Petite Miquelon to the south. Saint-Pierre Island is located to the lower right. The islands, mostly barren and rocky, are important for cod fishing. Some saltwater lagoons are seen in black color in the image bordered by barrier beaches.

Part of the island of Newfoundland is seen in the top of the image bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The first use of the name Newfoundland was in an English registry in 1947, recording the discovery of Terra Nova or the "new found land". As can be seen in the image, its coastlines are highly irregular, with many bays, islands, and peninsulas like the Peninsula of Avalon (in the south east).

One particular interest of this image is the patterns observed over the sea surface. The area known as Grand Banks is lying off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland. It consists on several banks rising from the continental shelf with an extension of 560 km and a depth ranging from 40 to 180 m. This area is one of the world's leading fishing grounds, being a favorable environment for plankton due to the shallowness of the water plus the mingling of the cold Labrador Current, crossing most of the banks, and the warm Gulf Stream, flowing along the eastern part of the region. Some lee waves, a special case of atmospheric gravity waves, are seen in the right part of the image where the wave motion is forced over a terrain obstacle, the coastline with the wind in the north part and the banks with the ocean in the south part of the image. Some current fronts extending from north to south are also seen in the central bottom part of the image.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Envisat
  • Instrument: ASAR
  • Acquisition: 20-Dec-2003
  • Orbit nr: 09440
  • Center coordinates: lat. 46.64, lon. -54.87


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