STS094-723-083 Gulf of Fonseca, Nicaragua/Honduras July 1997
Three Central American countries--El Salvador (northwest), Honduras (east), and Nicaragua (south)--share the Gulf of Fonseca. Although the gulf is fairly large in size, measuring 70 miles (113 km) in northwest--southeast extent, its fragile ecosystem is being damaged at an alarming rate. The gulf's two major natural resources (mangrove forests and fisheries) are being depleted with serious consequences to the long-term effects of the marine environment, specifically the shrimp industry. Poorly marked international boundaries within the gulf have only exacerbated the economic problem. The angular patterns at the southeast end of the gulf are ponds used for the production of shrimp. The southeast end of the gulf also exhibits a large sediment plume in the water. The roughly oval-shaped feature near the north end of the Nicaraguan peninsula is the caldera of Cosiguina Volcano, a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1835. The summit of Cosiguina Volcano is 2818 feet (860 meters) above sea level and the caldera is approximately 1.2 miles (2 km) in diameter. The darker area that rings the caldera shows an area of dense, tropical vegetation.

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