Where on GoogleEarth? WoGE #327

Matthew chose to take us to the Baikal Rift with his WoGE #326. The Olkhon island is almost as large as Madeira and has some fascinating tectonic features, thanks again for pointing me to that great spot, Matthew! Now it’s time for a new challenge. Find the following feature on GoogleEarth, post the location and a brief description of the geology in the comments, and all the fame will be yours.

I do envoke the Schott rule, which means you have to wait one hour for each previous win. Posting time is 15:04 UTC. If you are not sure about the rules, have a look here. You’ll also find a kmz-file with all the previous locations.

Click first on image, then on 1699 x 1084 in the header to enlarge:

Good luck!

Update: Since it’s been some days without a solution, here’s a larger image. Now it should be easy to find the spot.


submit to reddit

Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner


  • Simon Wellings (Metageologist) | 2012-01-20|13:01 (UTC)

    This is 51°22’4.39″N 4°11’0.41″E in Holland, just north of the great Belgian port of Antwerp.

    The river is the Scheldt which is a major trade route in Europe (and has been for hundreds of years, Antwerp is a lovely historic city). I like the way the image has little impact of human activity on it but is really not far from the city itself.

    Geologically, we are in the tidal zone of a major river. We can see the lovely fractal patterns in the river, passing up into creeks on the vegetated sand bank itself.
    I suspect there is no bedrock as such in the image and that we are looking at older river sediments (temporarily?) stabilised by vegetation and being, for the moment, away from the major river channel.

  • Heijn van Gent | 2012-01-20|13:19 (UTC)

    Well, Christoph, this is an interesting area you have picked. And nice to see that there is finally a WoGE I recognized quickly. But as your former collgue, and knowing how you tick, I didn’t want to participate. But now it is solved, I can spill my beans.
    The green area with the channels area is called the “Verdronken Land van Saefthinge” (Drowned land of Saefthinge) At the moment it is a nature reserve, and one of the largest brakish-water zones of West Europe, but it used to be a prosperous polder area, so prosperous it became it’s own “Heerlijkheid” (a Herrschaft or fee, under control of a Lord), containing the city of Saefthinge. During the All Saints Flood of 1 November 1570 and in the four years that followed, most of the polder drowned, but the city of Saefthinge was spared.
    Legend has it that the All Saint’s flood was actually caused by the rather arrogant citizens of Seafthinge reluctant to release a captured mermaid. Her merman flooded the area and three surrounding settlements (but not Seafthinge surprisingly…), killing all inhabitants. Still now (on moonlid nights, when all is quiet etc etc) a church bell can be heard calling for help for the drowning city.
    Later in the Eighty Year War (1584), Dutch Soldiers had to puncture the dike around the city, in defense against the Spanish army. Still now, occasional archeological finds are made in the area, but due to the active tides in the Westerschelde estruary, the area is quite inaccessible and dangerous. During a number of field trips organized by the University of Utrecht, I was able to visit the area with a guide. The tidal channels, which are clearly visible in google earth, are actually cut quite deep into the surrounding land (2-3 m) and are filled with deep and viscous mud. Combined with the inherent flat nature of the rest of the Dutch landscape made it a difficult place to navigate.
    During the Second World War resistance fighters used it as a hide out. The mortar rounds the occupying forces shot into the area, did not hit anybody, but they did form large circular impressions in the mud. These accumulated fresh rain water. Since the rest of the area is brackish, different plants now grow in these depressions, which is why you see them clearly in air photos (there is actually one visible in first image, above the ‘e’s of Google Earth, on the right side of the image). At present the Doel Nuclear Power Station in Belgium can be seen on the horizon once you are out of the tidal channels, making navigation considerably easier.
    (Information summarized from memory and the Dutch Wikipedia: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verdronken_Land_van_Saeftinghe, a little bit of information is found onthe English version here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeftinghe)

  • Christoph | 2012-01-20|13:45 (UTC)

    Yeah, right! It seems like the hint was too easy…
    The area is called the “verdronken land” (drowned land) in the Westerschelde. Land reclamation took place here from the 13th century for agricultural purposes, but then the mud dikes were abandoned during the years and we have the salt marshes today. Nice wilderness surrounded by extreme human impact.
    Simon, what do you have for the next WoGE?

  • Simon Wellings (Metageologist) | 2012-01-20|19:01 (UTC)

    WoGE #328 can be found here:

Leave a Comment