Portal:Geography/Featured article

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Portal:Geography/Featured article/1

Relief map of Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the Oceania region of the southern hemisphere, consisting of the world's smallest continent, the island of Tasmania, and over eight thousand smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Australia has been inhabited for about 50,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Eastern Australia was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as a British penal colony in 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, six largely self-governing Crown colonies were established within Australia over the course of the 19th century. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has had a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a Commonwealth realm. Australia has a population of about 20 million, concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. A highly developed country and one of the wealthiest, Australia is the world's 12th-largest economy and has the world's fifth-highest per capita income.

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a national park located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, was established in 1872 by the United States Congress and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is dominant. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 km2), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Yellowstone Park is the largest and most famous megafauna location in the continental United States.

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Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is a lake in the centre of Canberra, Australia's federal capital city. It was created in 1963 after the Molonglo River, which runs through the city centre, was dammed. Named after Walter Burley Griffin, the architect who won the design competition for the city of Canberra, the lake is located in the approximate geographic centre of the city, according to Griffin's original designs. Numerous important institutions, such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, and the High Court of Australia lie on its shores, and Parliament House is a short distance away. Its surrounds are also quite popular with recreational users, particularly in the warmer months. Though swimming in the lake is uncommon, it is used for a wide variety of other activities, such as rowing, fishing, and sailing. The lake's flow is regulated by the 33 metre tall Scrivener Dam, which is designed to handle a once in 5000 year flood event, and in times of drought, water levels can be maintained through the release of water from Googong Dam. The lake is an ornamental body with a length of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); at its widest, it measures 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi). It has an average depth of 4 metres (13 ft) and a maximum depth of about 18 metres (59 ft) near the Scrivener Dam.

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Portal:Geography/Featured article/4

NASA imagery

Antarctica is the continent at the extreme southern latitudes of the Earth, containing the South Pole. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean and divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains. On average, it is the coldest, driest, windiest, and highest of all the continents. Although it is 98% covered in ice, because there is little precipitation, the entire continent is technically a desert and is thus the largest desert in the world. Cold-adapted plants and animal, including penguins, fur seals, mosses, lichens, and many types of algae live on the continent. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") go back to antiquity, the first sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1821 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. Antarctica is not under the political sovereignty of any nation, although seven countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) maintain territorial claims, which are not recognized by other countries. Human activity on the continent is regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1959 by 12 countries and prohibits any military activity, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone.

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Zion Canyon at sunset in Zion National Park as seen from Angels Landing looking south

Zion National Park is a national park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. In 1909, President William Howard Taft named the area a National Monument to protect the canyon, under the name of Mukuntuweap National Monument, and in 1918 the park's name was changed to Zion. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park's unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans. The park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.

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A broadcasting tower above the Golf Green neighbourhood

Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly river, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India. The Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port. As of 2011, the city had 4.5 million residents; the urban agglomeration, which comprises the city and its suburbs, was home to approximately 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Kolkata were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading license in 1690, the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified mercantile base. Under East India Company and later under the British Raj, Kolkata served as the capital of India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata—which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics—witnessed several decades of relative economic stagnation. Since the early 2000s, it has undergone an economic rejuvenation.

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Portal:Geography/Featured article/7

Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek is a small city in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. It covers an area of 20.66 square kilometres (7.98 sq mi) in the dry and windy prairie land of the Peace River Country. The city is in the British Columbia Peace Lowland ecosection of the Canadian Boreal Plains ecozone on the continental Interior Platform. Located in the Cordillera Climatic Region, it lies at the southern end of a subarctic climate. The 1941 census, the first to include Dawson Creek as a defined subdivision, counted 518 residents. In 2011 the city had a population of 11,583. Growth slowed in the 1960s, with the population reaching its all-time high in 1966, although since 1992 the city has grown and undergone several boundary expansions. Dubbed "The Capital of the Peace", it is a service centre for the rural areas south of the Peace River and the seat of the Peace River Regional District. Once a small farming community, Dawson Creek became a regional centre when the western terminus of the Northern Alberta Railways was extended there in 1932. The community grew rapidly in 1942 as the US Army used the rail terminus as a transshipment point during construction of the Alaska Highway. In the 1950s the city was connected to the interior of British Columbia via a highway and railway through the Rocky Mountains.

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Global warming

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans that has been observed in recent decades. The scientific opinion on climate change is that much of the recent change may be attributed to human activities. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, among other human activities, are the primary sources of the human-induced component of warming. Observational sensitivity studies and climate models referenced by the IPCC predict that global temperatures may increase by between 1.4 and 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including rises in sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones or floods. There are a few scientists who contest the view about attribution of recent warming to human activity. Uncertainties exist regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and there is a hotly contested political and public debate over attempts to reduce or reverse future warming, and how to cope with possible consequences.

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Banff National Park

Banff National Park, Canada's oldest national park, was established in 1885 in the Canadian Rockies. The park, located 120 kilometres (80 mi) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise, connecting to Jasper National Park in the north. The main commercial centre of the park is the town of Banff, in the Bow River valley. The Canadian Pacific Railway was instrumental in Banff's early years, building the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise, and attracting tourists through extensive advertising. In the early 20th century, roads were built in Banff, at times by war internees, and through Great Depression-era public works projects. Since the 1960s, park accommodations have been open all year, with annual tourism visits to Banff increasing to over 5 million in the 1990s. Millions more pass through the park on the Trans-Canada Highway. The health of the park's ecosystem has been threatened by heavy visitation. In the mid-1990s Parks Canada responded by initiating a two-year study thath resulted in management recommendations and new policies that aim to preserve ecological integrity.

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Downtown Minneapolis

Minneapolis, nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City", is the county seat of Hennepin County and the largest city in the state. Its name is attributed to the city's first schoolteacher, who combined mni, a Dakota Sioux word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the city of Minneapolis is 382,578, making it the 48th largest in the United States. Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. The two cities are known as the Twin Cities, and comprise the country's 16th-largest metropolitan area. Minneapolis is abundantly rich in water, with over twenty lakes and wetlands, the Mississippi river, creeks, and waterfalls, many of which are connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Among cities of similar densities, Minneapolis has the most dedicated parkland. It was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber, and today is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle, with Minneapolis proper containing the fifth highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. The Minneapolis metropolitan area is the second largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago.

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Caldera Mt Tambora Sumbawa Indonesia.jpg

Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano on Sumbawa island, Indonesia. Sumbawa is flanked both to the north and south by oceanic crust and Tambora was formed by the active subduction zones beneath it. This process raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,000 ft), making it one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago, and drained off a large magma chamber inside the mountain. In 1815, Tambora erupted with a rating of seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index; the largest eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in AD 181. With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cu mi), Tambora's 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined the local agriculture. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption created global climate anomalies in the following years. 1816 became known as the Year Without a Summer because of the impact on North American and European weather. During an excavation in 2004, a team of archaeologists discovered a civilization obliterated by the 1815 eruption, known as the "Pompeii of the East".

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Qunaitra.jpg

Quneitra (also known as Al Qunaytirah, Qunaitira, or Kuneitra) is the largely destroyed and abandoned capital of the Quneitra Governorate in south-western Syria. It is situated in a high valley in the Golan Heights at an elevation of 1,010 metres (3,313 feet) above sea level. Quneitra was founded in the Ottoman era as a way station on the caravan route to Damascus and subsequently became a garrison town of some 20,000 people, strategically located near the ceasefire line with Israel. Its name is Arabic for "the little bridge". On 10 June 1967, the last day of the Six-Day War, Quneitra came under Israeli control. It was briefly recaptured by Syria during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but Israel regained control in its subsequent counter-offensive. The city was almost completely destroyed before the Israeli withdrawal in June 1974. It now lies in the demilitarized United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone between Syria and Israel, a short distance from the de facto border between the two countries, and is populated by only a handful of families. Syria refused to rebuild the city and actively discourages resettlement in the area. Israel was heavily criticized by the United Nations for the city's destruction, while Israel has also criticized Syria for not rebuilding Quneitra.

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India Karnataka locator map.svg

Karnataka is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956 with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act, and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava (Formation Day). Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. It is the land of the Kannadiga, Tuluva, Konkani, and Kodava peoples. With over 61 million inhabitants as of 2011, Karnataka is the ninth largest state by population in India. Kannada is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The two main river systems of the state are Krishna and its tributaries (Bhima, Ghataprabha, Vedavati, Malaprabha, and Tungabhadra) in the north, and the Cauvery and its tributaries (Hemavati, Shimsha, Arkavathi, Lakshmana Thirtha and Kabini) in the south. Both these rivers flow eastward and fall into the Bay of Bengal. With an antiquity that dates to the paleolithic, Karnataka has also been home to some of the most powerful empires of ancient and medieval India. The philosophers and musical bards patronised by these empires launched socio-religious and literary movements which have endured to the present day. Karnataka has contributed significantly to both the Carnatic and Hindustani forms of Indian classical music.

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Surtsey eruption 1963.jpg

Surtsey (Icelandic, meaning "Surtr's island") is a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. At 63°18′11″N 20°36′17″W / 63.303°N 20.6047°W / 63.303; -20.6047Coordinates: 63°18′11″N 20°36′17″W / 63.303°N 20.6047°W / 63.303; -20.6047 Surtsey is the southernmost point of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 metres (426 ft) below sea level, and reached the surface on 15 November 1963. The eruption lasted until 5 June 1967, when the island reached its maximum size of 2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi). Since then, wind and wave erosion have caused the island to steadily diminish in size: as of 2002, its surface area was 1.4 km2 (0.54 sq mi). The new island was named after Surtr, a fire jötunn or giant from Norse mythology. It was intensively studied by volcanologists during its eruption, and afterwards by botanists and biologists as life forms gradually colonised the originally barren island. The undersea vents that produced Surtsey are part of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westmann Isles) submarine volcanic system, part of the fissure of the sea floor called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Vestmannaeyjar also produced the famous eruption of Eldfell on the island of Heimaey in 1973. The eruption that created Surtsey also created a few other small islands along this volcanic chain, such as Jólnir and other, unnamed peaks. Most of these eroded away fairly quickly.

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South Florida Satellite Image Map.jpg

The geography and ecology of the Everglades involve the complex elements affecting the natural environment throughout the southern region of the U.S. state of Florida. Before drainage, the Everglades was an interwoven mesh of marshes and prairies covering 4,000 square miles (10,000 km2). The Everglades is simultaneously a vast watershed that has historically extended from Lake Okeechobee 100 miles (160 km) south to Florida Bay (around one-third of the southern Florida peninsula), and many interconnected ecosystems within a geographic boundary. It is such a unique meeting of water, land, and climate that the use of either singular or plural to refer to the Everglades is appropriate. When Marjory Stoneman Douglas wrote her definitive description of the region in 1947, she used the metaphor "River of Grass" to explain the blending of water and plant life. Although sawgrass and sloughs are the enduring geographical icons of the Everglades, other ecosystems are just as vital, and the borders marking them are subtle or nonexistent. Pinelands and tropical hardwood hammocks are located throughout the sloughs; the trees, rooted in soil inches above the peat, marl, or water, support a variety of wildlife. The oldest and tallest trees are cypresses, whose roots are specially adapted to grow underwater for months at a time. The Big Cypress Swamp is well known for its 500-year-old cypresses, though cypress domes can appear throughout the Everglades. As the fresh water from Lake Okeechobee makes its way to Florida Bay, it meets salt water from the Gulf of Mexico; mangrove forests grow in this transitional zone, providing nursery and nesting conditions for many species of birds, fish, and invertebrates. The marine environment of Florida Bay is also considered part of the Everglades because its sea grasses and aquatic life are attracted to the constant discharge of fresh water.

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Hawai'i.jpg

Mauna Loa is an active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii. Mauna Loa is Earth's largest volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km³), although its peak is about 36 m (120 ft) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are very fluid and the volcano has extremely shallow slopes as a result. The volcano has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years and may have emerged from the sea about 400,000 years ago. Its magma comes from a hotspot in the Earth's mantle far beneath the island that has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain for tens of million of years. The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry the volcano away from the hotspot, and the volcano will thus become extinct within 500,000 to one million years from now. The first recorded summiting of Mauna Loa was in 1794 by naturalist Archibald Menzies, then-Lieutenant Joseph Baker, and two others. Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24, 1984 to April 15, 1984. In view of the hazards it poses to population centers, Mauna Loa is part of the Decade Volcanoes program, which encourages studies of the most dangerous volcanoes. Mauna Loa has been intensively monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) since 1912. Observations of the atmosphere are undertaken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, and of the Sun at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, both located near its summit.

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Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. The park's headquarters is about 26 miles (42 km) east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 (I-40), which parallels the BNSF Railway's Southern Transcon, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park roughly east–west. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the park covers about 146 square miles (380 km2), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. About 600,000 people visit the park each year and take part in activities including sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking. The park's earliest human inhabitants arrived at least 8,000 years ago. By about 2,000 years ago, they were growing corn in the area and shortly thereafter building pit houses in what would become the park. Later inhabitants built above-ground dwellings called pueblos. Although a changing climate caused the last of the park's pueblos to be abandoned by about 1400 CE, more than 600 archeological sites, including petroglyphs, have been discovered in the park. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers visited the area, and by the mid-19th century a U.S. team had surveyed an east–west route through the area where the park is now located and noted the petrified wood. Later roads and a railway followed similar routes and gave rise to tourism and, before the park was protected, to large-scale removal of fossils. Theft of petrified wood remains a problem in the 21st century.

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Alanya

Alanya is a seaside resort city and district of Antalya Province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, 120 km (75 miles) from the city of Antalya. The municipal district, which includes the city center, has close to 400,000 inhabitants. The population is almost entirely of Anatolian origin, but is home to almost 10,000 European residents, with a growing presence in the city and its economy. Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Alanya's greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of Alaeddin Keykubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city's landmarks, such as the Kızıl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle. The relatively moderate Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage makes Alanya a popular destination for tourism. Tourism has risen since 1958 to become the dominant industry in the city, resulting in a corresponding increase in city population.

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Altrincham

Altrincham is a market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies on flat ground south of the River Mersey about 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Manchester city centre, 3 miles (5 km) south-southwest of Sale and 10 miles (16 km) east of Warrington. As of the 2001 UK census, it had a population of about 41,000. Historically a part of Cheshire, Altrincham was established as a market town in 1290, a time when most communities were based around agriculture rather than trade, and there is still a market in the town today. Further socioeconomic development came with the extension of the Bridgewater Canal to Altrincham in 1765 and the arrival of the railway in 1849, stimulating industrial activity in the town. Outlying villages were absorbed by Altrincham's subsequent growth, along with the grounds of Dunham Massey Hall, formerly the home of the Earl of Stamford, and now a tourist attraction with three Grade I listed buildings and a deer park. Altrincham today is an affluent commuter town, partly because of its transport links. It is also home to Altrincham F.C. and an English Premier League ice hockey club, Manchester Phoenix.

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The Cannikin warhead being lowered into test shaft

Amchitka is a volcanic, tectonically unstable island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska. It is about 68 kilometres (42 mi) long, and varies from 3 to 6 km (2–3.75 mi) in width. It has a maritime climate, with many storms, and mostly overcast skies. The island was populated for more than 2,500 years by the Aleut people, but has had no permanent population since 1832. It was included in the Alaska Purchase of 1867, and has since been part of the United States. During World War II, it was used as an airfield by US forces in the Battle of the Aleutian Islands. Amchitka was selected by the United States Atomic Energy Commission to be the site for underground detonations of nuclear weapons. Three such tests were carried out: Long Shot, an 80 kiloton blast in 1965; Milrow, a 1 megaton blast in 1969; and Cannikin in 1971 – at "under 5 megatons", the largest underground test ever conducted by the United States. The tests were highly controversial, with environmental groups fearing that the Cannikin explosion, in particular, would cause severe earthquakes and tsunamis. Amchitka is no longer used for nuclear testing, although it is monitored for the leakage of radioactive materials.

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Bath, Somerset

Bath is a city in south-west England, most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. The city was first recorded as a Roman spa, though tradition suggests an earlier foundation. The waters from its spring were considered to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy. As a result of its popularity during the latter period, the city contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture, particularly The Royal Crescent. The city has a population of over 90,000 and is a World Heritage Site.

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Belarus

Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mogilev (Mahilyow) and Vitebsk (Viciebsk). Forty percent of its 207,600 km2 (80,200 sq mi) is forested, and its strongest economic sectors are agriculture and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, the lands of modern day Belarus belonged to several countries. The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country's president since 1994. Under his lead and despite objections from Western governments, Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy, have been implemented. Most of Belarus's population of 9.85 million reside in the urban areas surrounding Minsk and other voblast (regional) capitals. More than 80% of the population are ethnic Belarusians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a controversial 1995 referendum, Russian has been an official language alongside Belarusian.

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Belgrade

Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, first emerging as prehistoric Vinča in 4800 BC. It was settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, before becoming the Roman settlement of Singidunum. It first became the capital of Serbia in 1403, and was the capital of various South Slav states from 1918 until 2003, as well as Serbia and Montenegro from 2003 until 2006. The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in north central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. The population of Belgrade, according to the Serbian census of 2002, is 1,576,124. Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government. Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each of which has its own local council. It is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian culture, education and science.

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Big Butte Creek

Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile (19 km) long tributary of the Rogue River located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 245 square miles (630 km2) of Jackson County. The north fork of the creek begins on Rustler Peak and the south fork's headwaters are near Mount McLoughlin. They meet near Butte Falls, and Big Butte Creek flows generally northwest until it empties into the Rogue River about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Lost Creek Dam (William L. Jess Dam). Big Butte Creek's watershed was originally settled over 8,000 years ago by the Klamath, Upper Umpqua, and Takelma tribes of Native Americans. In the Rogue River Wars of the 1850s, most of the Native Americans were either killed or forced into Indian reservations. The first non-indigenous settlers arrived in the 1860s, and the area was quickly developed. The creek was named after Snowy Butte, an early name for Mount McLoughlin. In the late 19th century, the watershed was primarily used for agriculture and logging. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated in 1911.

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Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. Despite its name, this is not actually a canyon, but rather a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to its unique geological structures, called hoodoos, formed from wind, water, and ice erosion of the river and lakebed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views. The canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1875. The area around Bryce Canyon became a United States national monument in 1924 and was designated as a national park in 1928.

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Cameroon

The Republic of Cameroon is a unitary republic of central and western Africa. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Bonny, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is called "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point is Mount Cameroon in the southwest, and the largest cities are Douala, Yaoundé, and Garoua. Cameroon is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. The country is well known for its native styles of music, particularly makossa and bikutsi, and for its successful national football team. English and French are the official languages. In 1960, French Cameroun became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The southern part of British Cameroons merged with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Compared with other African countries, Cameroon enjoys political and social stability. This has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, railways, and large petroleum and timber industries. Nevertheless, large numbers of Cameroonians live in poverty as subsistence farmers. Power lies firmly in the hands of the president, Paul Biya, and his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, and corruption is widespread.

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Canada

Canada is the world's second largest country by area, occupying most of northern North America. Extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, Canada shares land borders with the United States to the south and to the northwest. Inhabited originally by Aboriginal peoples, Canada was founded as a union of British colonies, some of which had earlier been French colonies. Now a federal dominion of ten provinces and three territories, Canada peacefully obtained sovereignty from Britain in a process spanning from 1867 to 1982. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, and defines itself as a bilingual and multicultural nation; both English and French are official languages.

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Canberra

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and with a population of just over 323,000 is Australia's largest inland city. Canberra was selected as the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne and is unusual amongst Australian capital cities as an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. Although the growth and development of Canberra was hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city post-World War II. As Australia's seat of government, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments; it is also the location of numerous social and cultural institutions of national significance. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest employer in Canberra. Canberra is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.

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Carabane

Carabane is an island and a village located in the extreme south-west of Senegal, in the mouth of the Casamance River. The earliest known inhabitants of the island were the Jola people, the ethnic group which is still the most populous on the island. On January 22, 1836, the island was ceded to France by the village leader of Kagnout in return for an annual payment of 196 francs. In 1869, Carabane became autonomous, but it merged with Sédhiou in 1886. Since World War II, the population of the island has gradually declined for a variety of reasons including periods of drought, the Casamance Conflict and, more recently, the sinking of the Joola in 2002. Because the Joola was the primary means of travel to and from Carabane, much of the village's ability to trade and receive tourists has been lost. Although Carabane was once a regional capital, the village has since become so politically isolated from the rest of the country that it no longer fits into any category of the administrative structure decreed by the Senegalese government. Although there have been attempts to cultivate a tourism industry on the island, the inhabitants have been reluctant to participate.

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Caroline Island

Caroline Island is the easternmost of the uninhabited coral atolls which comprise the southern Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean. First sighted by Europeans in 1606, claimed by United Kingdom in 1868, and part of the Republic of Kiribati since the island nation's independence in 1979, Caroline Island has remained relatively untouched and is considered one of the world's most pristine tropical islands, despite guano mining, copra harvesting, and human habitation in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is home to one of the world's largest populations of the coconut crab and is an important breeding site for seabirds, most notably the Sooty Tern. The atoll is best known for its role in celebrations surrounding the arrival of the year 2000 – a 1995 realignment of the International Date Line made Caroline Island the easternmost land west of the Date Line and therefore one of the first points of land on earth to see sunrise in the year 2000.

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