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Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Quizzes
Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Image Quiz #24
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(See quiz questions or a list of previous quizzes.)

Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Image Quiz #24

Welcome back to another chance to play geographical detective! MISR is proud to be re-introducing these quizzes on a periodic basis.

This image was acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) and represents an area of about 368 kilometers and 373 kilometers. North is at the top. The area shown is the Shandong Province of China.

From the statements below, please indicate which ones are True or False:

1. Although rich in many natural resources, excessive mining during the previous century has nearly depleted the natural supply of gold in this region.

Answer: False.
The gold mines remained largely unexplored, until government reforms and foreign investments allowed for operational growth and expansion. In fact, production has increased so quickly during the last decade that in 2007, the Shandong province of China surpassed South Africa as the leading producer of gold in the world.

2. Within the mountainous area in the southwest quadrant of this image is a location noted for religious worship that has continued for several millennia.

Answer: True.
Mount Tai, near the city of Tai'an is one of the five sacred mountains to Buddhists and Taoists. As the Eastern mountain, Mount Tai or Tai Shan means, Tranquil Mountain in Chinese and symbolizes sunrise, birth and renewal. Religious worship at the mountain has been continuing for over 3,000 years, including by China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

3. Sedimentation and industrial pollution in the river whose outlet is near the top of the image has dampened the economy of this region due to the resulting dramatic reduction in shipping.

Answer: False.
The Yellow River or Huang He, is the second longest river in China. The river is named for coloration from the silt carried from the Loess Plateau. Industry dumping and sewage have heavily polluted the river, over 1/3 being unusable for agriculture and industrial use. However, the river flows into the Bohai Sea, one of the busiest seaports of China, and the province is ranked 3rd in GDP for China.

4. The name of one of the major cities in this region -- also the name of a brand of beer -- evokes a verdant locale; a nearby winery is noted for its prize-winning Chardonnay.

Answer: True.
Qingdao (Wade-Giles pronunciation or Tsingtao for the postal spelling) means green or lush island in Chinese. The name stands for both the city, and the name of the beer and brewery that was started when the province was under German rule. Although Qingdao is famous for its beer, the nearby Huadong Winery, founded in the mid 1980's, produces a number of European variety white and red wines, and has won several awards in international wine contests.

5. Rapid population development, as seen in the rim areas, has resulted in the proliferation of Phragmites australis, raising international concerns over the deterioration of the local ecosystem.

Answer: False.
The Bohai Sea saline meadows are located in the upper reaches of the Yellow Sea to the west of the Shandong Peninsula. Grass and sedge marshes are important to the freshwater lakeside ecosystem further inland, but these have been almost completely destroyed by rice agriculture and fish aquaculture, as have the native reed beds of Phragmites australis.

6. The delta mouth formed by the large sediment-laden river in the image is an example of a well preserved wetland ecosystem, and is used as a "transfer station" for millions of migrating birds, including several rare species.

Answer: True.
The Yellow River Delta region in the Shandong province serves as a stopover for a variety of species of birds including such rarities as the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) and the Siberian crane (G. leucogeranus). The rare Saunders' gull (Larus saundersi), listed as vulnerable by IUCN and BirdLife International, uses the Huang He or Yellow River Delta as one of its four global breeding sites.

7. A city located within the pictured region is the site of a major oilfield and is one of the world's leading producers of rubber tires.

Answer: True.
The city of Dongying, located along the western coast of Laizhou Bay, is home to the Shengli Oilfield, the second largest in China. Oil and gas have played major roles in the city's economic development. The city is home to many rubber tire factories, and houses a campus of the China University of Petroleum.

374 people from all over the world sent in responses before the deadline. Individuals who answered all questions correctly are listed below in the order in which responses were received. The prize winners are indicated by an asterisk.

  1. Regina Seiler, Lucerne, Switzerland *
  2. Sean Hattersley, Wolverhampton, England *
  3. MG3, Arvada, CO *
  4. Barry Burgess, Calabasas, CA
  5. Rod Strayer, Albion, IN
  6. Mark Warren, Palo Alto, CA
  7. Sara Verbeiren, Mol, Belgium
  8. Mike Fahay, West Bath, ME
  9. Krystian Brazulewicz, Gdansk, Poland
10. Ivan P Anderson, Aylesford, UK
11. CH, College Station, TX
12. Phillippe Delacretaz, Romanel, Switzerland
13. Tony Stirling, Las Vegas
14. Guillaume Pedroza, Palaiseau, France
15. Paul James, Pontyclun, South Wales
16. RRugan, Hood River, OR
17. F. Igo, Ayer, MA
18. Jack Oliver, Fort Worth, TX
19. Riddhi Singh, State College
20. Juan Alvarez, Vigo, Spain
21. S. Campo, Mississauga, Ontario
22. F. Ding, Zhengshou, China
23. Andrzej Szuksztul, Gdansk, Poland
24. Yaniv Sadeh, Nordiya, Israel
25. Michael Tiano, Canton, MI
26. Aaron G, Brunswick, ME
27. Piers, Berlin, Germany
28. Gustavo A. Torres, Caracas, Venezuela
29. Olivier Baudry, Grenoble, France
30. Mike Hobby, Bournemouth, UK
31. Doctor Science, New Jersey
32. Heidi, Hayward, CA
33. JTB, Perth, Australia
34. Marion Florjancic, Crotone, Italy

Credit: Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team
Text acknowledgement: Karen Yuen and Amber Jenkins, JPL