Along the southern coast of the Netherlands, sediment-laden rivers have created a
massive delta of islands and waterways in the gaps between the coastal dunes. After
unusually severe spring tides devasted this region in 1953, the Dutch built an
elaborate system of dykes, canals, dams, bridges, and locks to hold back the
This scene was acquired on May 24, 2002, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. This false-color composite was created by combining infrared,
near-infrared, and red (ASTER bands 3, 2, and 1) wavelengths. The darker the red shown here, the more densely vegetated the terrain. The light blue-green areas show bare land surface. The North Sea appears black in this scene and trends from dark blue to lighter blue as the seawater carries increasingly more sediment near the surface.
Image provided by the
USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems
Branch as part of the Earth as Art II image series
The braided streams of the Betsiboka Estuary have largely returned to their normal size, leaving puddles of blue and green water to show the extent of earlier flooding. Tropical Cyclone Gafilo moved across Madagascar on March 7 and 8, dumping heavy rain in its path. As time passed, the waters eventually flowed down the rivers to the coast, flooding the low-lying land in the west. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite captured this image of the estuary on March 20, 2004. The false-color image uses green, red, and near-infrared light (ASTER bands 3, 2, 1) so that the main river is green, other water is blue, and vegetation is red.