Archive for March, 2007

Mergui Archipelago, Burma — some data

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

A readers asks about Burmese geography:
Mergui Archipelago

Do you know the land area of the Mergui/Myeik archipelago, off the coast of Myanmar? Land area must include land, lakes, rivers etc., but not seawater. Websites give figures which seem too big, like 36,000 sq km., and probably is not strictly land area, but includes the surrounding sea.

I would estimate the total land area at about 3,100 square km or 1,200 square miles.

Geographical reference sources count 800-900 islands in the archipelago, but the largest (Kadan Kyun) is only 450 sq km / 174 sq miles. There are only about 28 with areas as large as 16 sq km / 6 sq miles, and these 28 have a total area of 2,700 sq km / 1,050 sq miles.

Some caveats: the exact boundaries of the group are unclear, as is the nature of some low, mangrovy islands on the landward side of the group.

An island in Liechtenstein?

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Islands are found everywhere, and only a few countries — Bhutan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and the Vatican City — have defied all my attempts to locate islands within their borders.
Liechtenstein may be giving in — is this the Alpine microstate’s only island?  Maybe one of the 34,000 Liechtensteiners, or a traveler, could confirm.  It is in the south, at Neugrutt, near Balzers.

The largest extraterrestrial island?

Monday, March 5th, 2007

NASA has reported the possible discovery of a large lake on Saturn’s moon Titan.

The lake may have an island of considerable size — 150 by 90 km — making it about 10,000 square km, about the size of the largest island of Hawaii.  However, NASA warns that “The island may actually be a peninsula connected by a bridge to a larger stretch of land.”  At the least, there are some clear smaller islands visible above the large one.
Island in Titan lake