Portal:Geography/Featured article/archive/2011

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Archive of articles[edit]


January 2011

Bull Run Reservoir 1.jpg

The Bull Run River is a 21.9-mile (35.2 km) tributary of the Sandy River in the U.S. state of Oregon. Beginning at the lower end of Bull Run Lake in the Cascade Range, it flows generally west through the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit (BRWMU), a restricted area meant to protect the river and its tributaries from contamination. The river, impounded by two artificial storage reservoirs as well as the lake, is the primary source of drinking water for the city of Portland, Oregon. It is likely that Native Americans living along the Columbia River as early as 10,000 years ago visited the Bull Run watershed in search of food. More recently they created trails over the Cascade Range and around Mount Hood, near the upper part of the Bull Run watershed. By the mid-19th century, pioneers used these trails to cross the mountains from east to west to reach the fertile Willamette Valley. In the 1890s, the City of Portland, searching for sources of clean drinking water, chose the Bull Run River. Dam-building, road construction, and legal action to protect the watershed began shortly thereafter, and Bull Run water began to flow through a large pipe to the city in 1895.

February 2011

Flag of Turkey.svg

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye) is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and Thrace in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles (which together form the Turkish Straits) demarcate the boundary between Eastern Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia. Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance. Turkey is one of the six independent Turkic states. The predominant religion by number of people is Islam. The country's official language is Turkish, whereas Kurdish and Zazaki languages are spoken by Kurds and Zazas, who comprise 18% of the population. The CIA World Factbook puts Turkey's population at 77.8 million for the 2010 year.

March 2011

Warren County, Indiana Courthouse.png

Warren County lies in western Indiana between the Illinois border and the Wabash River in the United States. Before the arrival of non-indigenous settlers in the early 19th century, the area was inhabited by several Native American tribes. The county was officially established in 1827 and was the 55th county in Indiana. The county seat is Williamsport. According to the 2000 census, the county was home to 8,419 people in 3,219 households; the 2009 population estimate is 8,491. It is one of the most rural counties in the state, with the third-smallest population and the lowest population density at about 23 inhabitants per square mile (8.9/km2). The county has four incorporated towns with a total population of about 3,100, as well as many small unincorporated communities. The county is divided into 12 townships which provide local services. Much of the land in the county is given over to agriculture, especially on the open prairie in the northern and western parts; the county's farmland is among the most productive in the state. Nearer the river along the southeastern border, the land has many hills, valleys and tributary streams and is more heavily wooded. Agriculture, manufacturing, government, education and health care each provide substantial portions of the jobs in the county.

April 2011

Ireland from space edit.jpg

The geography of Ireland reflects its situation as an island in northwest Europe in the north Atlantic Ocean. The ocean is responsible for the rugged western coastline, along which are many islands, peninsulas and headlands. The main geographical feature of Ireland is low central plains surrounded by a ring of coastal mountains. There are a number of sizable lakes along Ireland's rivers, with Lough Neagh the largest in either Britain or Ireland. The island is bisected by the River Shannon, at 259 km (161 mi) with a 113 km (70 mi) estuary the longest river in either Britain or Ireland, which flows south from northwest County Cavan to meet the Atlantic just south of Limerick. The island of Ireland consists of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Located west of the island of Britain, it is approximately 53° north of the equator and 8° west of the Greenwich meridian. It has a total area of 84,116 km² (32,477 mi²). Ireland is separated from Britain by the Irish Sea and from mainland Europe by the Celtic Sea.

May 2011

Trafford Park.png

Trafford Park is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Located opposite Salford Quays, on the southern side of the Manchester Ship Canal, it is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) west-southwest of Manchester city centre, and 1.3 miles (2.1 km) north of Stretford. Until the late 19th century it was the ancestral home of the Trafford family, who sold it to financier Ernest Terah Hooley in 1896. Occupying an area of 4.7 square miles (12 km2), it was the first planned industrial estate in the world, and remains the largest in Europe. Trafford Park is almost entirely surrounded by water; the Bridgewater Canal forms its southeastern and southwestern boundaries, and the Manchester Ship Canal, which opened in 1894, its northeastern and northwestern boundaries. Hooley's plan was to develop the Ship Canal frontage, but the canal was slow to generate the predicted volume of traffic, therefore in the early days the park was largely used for leisure activities such as golf, polo, and boating. British Westinghouse was the first major company to move in, and by 1903 it was employing about half of the 12,000 workers then employed in the park, becoming one of the most important engineering facilities in Britain.

June 2011

Flag of Germany.svg

Germany (officially the Federal Republic of Germany), is a country in Western and Central Europe. Germany is a federal parliamentary republic of sixteen states. The capital and largest city is Berlin. It covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state and the strongest economy of the European Union. It is one of the major political powers of the European continent and a technological leader in many fields. A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations. The different German states became first unified in 1871, with the inception of the German Empire. The Weimar Republic was proclaimed in 1918, followed by the Third Reich in 1933. The latter period was marked by a dictatorship and the initiation of World War II in 1939. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990 Germany was reunified.

July 2011

Presque Isle Pennsylvania aerial view.jpg

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,112-acre (1,259 ha) Pennsylvania state park on an arching sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, 4 miles (6.4 km) west of the city of Erie, in Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The peninsula sweeps northeastward, surrounding Presque Isle Bay along the park's southern coast. It has 13 miles (21 km) of roads, 21 miles (34 km) of recreational trails, 13 beaches for swimming, and a marina. Popular activities at the park include swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and bird watching. The recorded history of Presque Isle begins with the Erielhonan, a Native American tribe who gave their name to Lake Erie, and includes French, British, and American forts, as well as serving as a base for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet in the War of 1812. With the growing importance of shipping on Lake Erie in the 19th century, Presque Isle became home to several lighthouses and what became a United States Coast Guard station. In 1921 it became a state park, and as of 2007 it hosts over 4 million visitors per year, the most of any Pennsylvania state park.

August 2011


Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States of America, founded on July 16, 1790. The U.S. Constitution allows for the creation of a special district to serve as the permanent national capital. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state and is instead directly overseen by the federal government. Within the District, a new capital city was founded in 1791 and named in honor of George Washington. The City of Washington, along with Georgetown and outlying areas within the federal district, were combined under a single, unified government in 1871, which formed Washington, D.C. as it exists today. The city shares its name with the U.S. state of Washington located on the country's Pacific coast. The District is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The city has a resident population of 601,723; because of commuters from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of nearly 5.6 million people, the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the country.

September 2011

Joppenbergh from across the Rondout Creek.jpg

Joppenbergh Mountain is a nearly 500-foot (150 m) mountain in Rosendale Village, a hamlet in the town of Rosendale, in Ulster County, New York. The mountain is composed of a carbonate bedrock overlain by glacially deposited material. It was named after Rosendale's founder, Jacob Rutsen, and mined throughout the late 19th century for dolostone that was used in the manufacture of natural cement. During the late 1930s, Joppenbergh became the site of several ski jumping competitions, which continued until the early 1940s. Skiing began again in the 1960s, when a new slope was built on the mountain, and the revived competitions continued until 1971.

October 2011

Marco Polo portrait.jpg

Marco Polo (c. 1254 – January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently met Kublai Khan. Il Milione was dictated by Marco Polo to Rustichello da Pisa while both were prisoners of the Genova Republic. It documents his father's journey to meet the Kublai Khan, who asked them to become ambassadors, and communicate with the pope. This led to Marco's quest, through Acre, and to the Mongol court in China. Marco apparently wrote of his extensive travels throughout Asia on behalf of the Khan, and their eventual return after 15000 miles (24000 km) and 24 years of adventures. Their pioneering journey inspired Christopher Columbus and had an influence on European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map.

November 2011

Captain Hall's Arctic Expedition -- The Polaris.jpg

The Polaris expedition (1871) was led by the American Charles Francis Hall, who intended it to be the first expedition to reach the North Pole. Sponsored by the United States government, it was one of the first serious attempts at the Pole, after that of British naval officer William Edward Parry, who in 1827 reached latitude 82°45′ North. Under Hall's command, the Polaris departed from New York City in June 1871. By October, the men were wintering on the shore of northern Greenland, making preparations for the trip to the Pole. Hall returned to the ship from an exploratory sledging journey, and promptly fell ill. Before he died, he accused members of the crew of poisoning him. An exhumation of his body in 1968 revealed that he had ingested a large quantity of arsenic in the last two weeks of his life. The expedition's notable achievement was reaching 82°29'N latitude by ship, a record at the time. On the way southward, nineteen members of the expedition became separated from the ship and drifted on an ice floe for six months and 1,800 miles (2,900 km) before being rescued. The damaged Polaris was run aground and wrecked near Etah, Greenland, in October 1872. The remaining men were able to survive the winter, and were rescued the following summer.

December 2011

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 were 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.