Tunis Tunisia
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Tunis, Tunisia

January 16, 2006
Twenty years separate these two Landsat thematic mapper images of the city of Tunis, Tunisia. They highlight the urbanization and expansion that the city has undergone during the course of these twenty years by allowing a comparison between the 2004 image on the right and the 1984 image on the left.

To the top right of both of the images, the subsidiary port of Halq al Wadi (La Goulette), which gives access to the Gulf of Tunis, can be seen. Tunis is divided into three parts, the old city, called Madina; the French city, which now is the center; and the newer and larger regions built in the south and the north of the city. Tunis is the commercial and economic center for northern Tunisia, and the administrative center for the whole of Tunisia.

The ruins of Carthage can be seen in the northeast. The famous Festival of Carthage is held there each year. The ruins of the ancient city are on the peninsula in the Bay of Tunis and near modern Tunis. The Latin name, Carthago or Cartago, was derived from the Phoenician name, which meant “new city.”

Comparing the grey-white area to the center of the two images, you can see the explosion of the modern town of Tunis. According to Tunisia's National Statistical Institute, Tunisia's urban population grew from 4.86 million on 1990 to 6.20 million in 2002, an increase of around 28%.

The black X shape pattern northwest of Tunis is the city's airport. The oval shape on the 1984 and 2004 image is the Sebkhet Sejoumi salt lake. The lake is intermittent and the salt content can be clearly seen in the dry lake in the 1984 image.

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Landsat
  • Instrument: Thematic Mapper
  • Acquisition: 11-Jul-1990
  • Center coordinates: lat. 36.81, lon. 10.18

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