STS034-083-030 Inland Sea, Japan October 1989
The Kii Channel seen in this north-looking view (center of the image) is the eastern entrance to the Inland Sea of Japan (located between southwest Honshu and Shikoku Island). Two extensive, heavily forested, mountainous landscapes flank the Kii Channel (Kii Peninsula is eastern peninsula). The Kii Fault can be traced diagonally (east-west orientation) across the image as a light-colored linear swath of various widths. The lighter-colored terrain throughout the entire image shows the distribution of human development either for urban settlements or, to a lesser degree, limited agricultural development. The greatest concentration of human activity is in the Kobe/Osaka Metroplex along the northeast end of Osaka Bay (northeast end of the Inland Sea). The Inland Sea is a large trough that includes a series of faulted depressions that are associated with some submergence, flooded by the sea, and dotted with many islands, which are the rims of the troughs. In terms of seismic activity, this region is located on the southeastern margin of the Eurasian Plate (where the Philippine Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian Plate) and which is subject to numerous earthquakes. The Onaruto Bridge (linear, light-colored feature) is visible as it connects the northeastern tip of Shikoku Island with Awaji Island (large island near center of image). An area of dense clouds obscures the terrain in the eastern corner (upper right) of the image.

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