Part of southern Italy is featured in this wintery image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.
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With the Ionian Sea to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, the image features parts of Basilicata, Calabria and Puglia. click to enlarge
Lying between the two seas, this area is prone to extreme weather such as flooding. In January and February 2023, southern Italy experienced a period of unsettled weather, resulting in heavy rainfall and snow, even at low altitudes.
The image, acquired on 24 January 2023, shows the southern end of the Apennine Mountains covered with snow. The sandy colour of some of the rivers flowing down the mountain slopes depicts them carrying sediment, which is discharged into the sea. This has resulted in sediment plumes, which are clear to see along both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coastlines.
The image also features several protected areas and two national parks, including the Pollino National Park. This is a UNESCO Geopark and Italy’s largest protected area. It covers almost 200 000 hectares between Calabria and Basilicata. The Pollino area is also home to several high mountains, the highest being the Serra Dolcedorme, which reaches 2267 m. It is visible, covered with snow, in the centre of the image.
North of the mountain peak, the Monte Cotugno artificial lake can be seen. Its waters appear green because of the high concentration of sediment.
In the top right corner of the image, a few small towns, visible in shades of brown, are dotted along the Ionian coast. The elongated green patches between the towns denote pine forests that give rise to pockets of biodiversity.
contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2023), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO