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Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll), United States Minor Outlying Islands

April 2nd, 2009 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll, pronounced /ˈweɪk/) is a coral atoll having a coastline of 12 miles (19 kilometers) in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu (2,300 statute miles or 3,700 km west) to Guam (1,510 miles or 2,430 km east). It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Access to the island is restricted, and all current activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force. There is also a missile facility operated by the United States Army. The largest island (Wake Island) is the center of activity on the atoll and has a 9,800 foot (3,000 m) runway.

For statistical purposes, Wake is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

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The glacier Frostisen, Norway

February 15th, 2009 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The glacier Frostisen is one of the larger plateau glaciers in Norway. Frostisen covers an area of about 25 km², and is 1,710 meters above sea level at its highest point and 840 meters above sea level at its lowest point. It lies near Skjomen, a fjord branch of Ofotfjorden in the Ofoten district in northern Norway, located just south of the city Narvik.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Durdle Door (Durdle Dor), Dorset, England

December 5th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Durdle Door (sometimes spelled Durdle Dor) is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England.

The arch has formed on a concordant coastline where bands of rock run parallel to the shoreline. Here the rock strata are nearly vertical, and the bands of rock are quite narrow.

Originally a band of resistant Portland limestone ran along the shore, the same band which can be seen two miles down the coast forming the narrow entrance to Lulworth Cove. Behind this is a 400-foot (120 m) band of various weaker rocks which are easily eroded, and behind this is a stronger and much thicker band of chalk, which forms the Purbeck Hills. The limestone and chalk are much closer together here than at Swanage, 10 miles (16 km) to the east, where the distance between them is over 2 miles (3 km). There are at least three reasons for this. First, the beds are highly inclined here, and more gently angled at Swanage. Secondly, some of the beds have been cut out by faulting at Durdle Door; and thirdly, the area around Durdle Door appears to have been unusually shallow, so a much thinner sequence of sediments were deposited here.

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Lhotse - the fourth highest mountain on Earth, China, Nepal

August 5th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain on Earth (after Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga) and is connected to Everest via the South Col. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 metres above sea level, Lhotse Middle (East) is 8,414 metres and Lhotse Shar is 8,383 metres. It is located at the border between Tibet (China) and Nepal.

Lhotse is best known for its proximity to Mount Everest and the fact that climbers ascending the standard route on that peak spend some time on its northwest face, see below. In fact Lhotse has one of the smallest topographic prominence values of any official eight-thousander, as it rises only 610 m (2,000 ft) above the South Col. Hence it is often seen as a minor eight-thousander.

However, Lhotse is a dramatic peak in its own right, due to its tremendous south face. This rises 3.2 km (1.98 mi) in only 2.25 km (1.4 mi) of horizontal distance, making it the steepest face of this size in the world. The south face has been the scene of many failed attempts, some notable fatalities, and very few ascents (one of them, by Tomo Česen, unverified).

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Łagiewnicki Forest, Łódź, Polska

August 5th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Łagiewnicki Forest - a large (1205,45 ha) urban forest in the city of Łódź in Poland.

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Longest natural bridge in the world, Aruba

July 11th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Aruba's famed Natural Bridge once rose 25 feet above the sea and spanned a hundred feet of rock-strewn waters carved out of solid coral by centuries of relentless pounding by the Atlantic surf. It was this relentless pounding that on September 2, 2005, caused Aruba's largest natural bridge to collapse. The snack and gift shop remain as a respite for those on their way to the natural pool or exploring the island. There is another smaller natural bridge nearby and several others throughout the island.

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Llaima Volcano, Chile

July 11th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Llaima Volcano is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Chile. It is situated 82 km northeast of Temuco and 663 km southeast of Santiago, within the borders of Conguillío National Park. Llaima’s activity has been documented since the 17th century, and consists of several separate episodes of moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows.

The volcano, along with Sierra Nevada, surrounds the Conguillío Lake.

Its slopes are drained by the rivers Captrén, Quepe and Trufultruful. The former ones are tributaries of Cautín River and the latter is affluent of Allipén River.

The average elevation of the terrain around Llaima is about 740 m asl.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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The Sidoarjo mud flow (Lapindo mud), Java, Indonesia

June 23rd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Sidoarjo mud flow or Lapindo mud, also informally abbreviated as Lusi, a contraction of Lumpur Sidoarjo (lumpur is the Indonesian word for mud), is an ongoing eruption of gas and mud in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia (20 kilometers south of Surabaya). It is considered to be a mud volcano. It appears that the flow will continue indefinitely and so far all efforts to stem the flow have failed.

On 28 May 2006, PT Lapindo Brantas targeted gas in the Kujung Formation carbonates in the Brantas PSC area by drilling a borehole named the 'Banjar-Panji 1 exploration well'. In the first stage of drilling the drill string first went through a thick clay seam (500–1,300 m deep), then sands, shells, volcanic debris and finally into permeable carbonate rocks. at this stage the borehole was surrounded by a steel casing to help stabilise it. At 5:00 a.m. local time (UTC+8) a second stage of drilling began and the drill string went deeper, to about 2,834 m (9,298 ft), this time without a protective casing, after which water, steam and a small amount of gas erupted at a location about 200 m southwest of the well. Two further eruptions occurred on the second and the third of June about 800–1000 m northwest of the well, but these stopped on 5 June 2006. During these eruptions, hydrogen sulphide gas was released and local villagers observed hot mud, thought to be at a temperature of around 60 °C (140 °F).

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