Earth's topography

Earth's topography

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Credit: NOAA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Global topography. Topographical map of the Earth, centred on 45 degrees South, 90 degrees West. The seas and oceans are colour-coded by depth. Turquoise regions descend to around 150 metres, and show the continental shelf. This drops off abruptly at the shelf break, where the continental slope descends to the deep ocean floor (seen as increasingly dark shades of blue). Numerous trenches and ridges are seen in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Land colours are based on MODIS true-colour data from the Terra satellite in 2004. Highlands are seen as darker regions, such as the Andes mountains in western South America, although Antarctica is white due to its ice, despite having the highest average elevation of all the continents.

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