NM23-743-051 Glacial Lakes, Italy Winter/Spring 1997
Glaciated, U-shaped river valleys are visible as they provide melt-water runoff that flows into the elongated lakes (dark features) in northwest Italy. From east to west (top to center) the three larger lakes are Lake Como, Lake Lugano (smallest of the three), and Lake Maggiore (largest-center of image). Several smaller lakes (also dark features) can be identified east and west of the southern end of Lake Maggiore. Sufficient water flows through the Alpine valleys around the Po River Basin to place Italy among the leading nations of Europe in terms of generating hydroelectricity. The lakes are constantly re-charged by melting valley glaciers and snow from the Swiss and Italian Alps. While most of the scene covers northwest Italy, a small piece of Switzerland is visible, particularly in the northeast quadrant (upper left) of the image. The Ticimo River (winding valley feature--bottom of image), a tributary of the Po River, can be traced as it crosses a variety of landforms that includes the Swiss and Italian Alps, Lake Maggiore, and finally becomes part of the Padana Plain (middle, right edge of scene).

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