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ISS008-E-14686
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Spacecraft nadir point: 40.3° N, 2.9° W

Photo center point: 37.0° N, 2.5° W

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 195 nautical miles (361km)
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Image Caption: Greenhouses of the Campo de Dalias, Almeria Province, Spain:
The sunny south of Spain offers more to the national economy than simply tourism. Over the past 50 years, the small coastal plain (campo), some 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Almeria, has been intensively developed for agriculture. An estimated 20,000 hecatres of extra-early market produce is grown in greenhouses in the Campo de Dalias, and it accounts for over $1.5 billion in economic activity. The area has a dry, mild, Mediterranean climate and is further sheltered on the north by the Sierra de Gador mountains. With just slightly more than 200 millimeters of annual precipitation to support crop growth, the area also relies on groundwater fed by small stream aquifers from the mountains to the north.

This image was taken with a digital camera by the crew of the International Space Station near midday in early February. Note the dense, bright pattern of thousands of greenhouses extending from the shoreline right up to the base of the mountains and even into some of the smaller valleys. Salt pan operations can also be seen in the long coastal lagoons.