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Fire and Phytoplankton Bloom, Western Australia

32.9S 124.6E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Fires

Western Australia - November 24th, 2009

Western Australia - November 24th, 2009



Smoke from a fire near Point Culver, a headland on the south coast of Western Australia, blows over the western end of the Great Australian Bight. At the time this image was taken, the wind was blowing the smoke to the south.

Also visible off the coast is a phytoplankton bloom. Although parts of the bloom are rather faint, upon opening the full image it can be seen trailing out into the ocean from the left side of the image to the right side.

Smoke from Agricultural Fires in Pakistan Spreads into India

30.7N 76.7E

November 18th, 2009 Category: Fires

India and China - November 16th, 2009

India and China - November 16th, 2009

Smoke from agricultural fires in Pakistan blows eastward into the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (from west to east) in India. The Himalayas to the north prevent the smoke from spreading farther, into China.

Here, the side of the Himalayas facing Tibet in China is covered in snow, while the side facing India remains untouched. The mountain areas visible here are part of several national parks and reserves, including Govind Pashu National Park, Gangotri National Park and Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (visible from west to east).

Wildfire North of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada

46.5N 81W

November 15th, 2009 Category: Fires, Lakes

Canada - November 8th, 2009

Canada - November 8th, 2009

Smoke trails east-northeast from a wildfire burning northwest of the Canadian city of Greater Sudbury, in the province of Ontario, in the upper left quadrant of this image.

Several bodies of water can be seen nearby, the closest of which is Lake Wanapitei, which occupies a meteorite crater near Greater Sudbury. The crater is 5.2 miles (8.37 km) in diameter and the age is estimated to be 37.2 ± 1.2 million years.

East of Lake Wanapitei is the larger Lake Nipissing, with a surface area of 873.3 km2 (337.2 sq mi) and a mean elevation of 196 m (643 ft) above sea level. It is relatively shallow for a large lake, with an average depth of only 4.5 m (14.8 ft). The shallowness of the lake makes for many sandbars along the lake’s irregular coastline.

To the south of both lakes is Georgian Bay, is a large bay of Lake Huron (bottom left quadrant). The main body of the bay lies east of the Bruce Peninsula and south of Manitoulin Island, the largest island in a freshwater lake in the world.  The Main Channel separates the Bruce Peninsula from Manitoulin Island and connects Georgian Bay to the rest of Lake Huron.

Ridges, Valleys and a Wildfire in the Area of Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

35.9N 83.9W

November 13th, 2009 Category: Fires, Lakes, Rivers

USA - November 8th, 2009

USA - November 8th, 2009

The city of Knoxville in the state of Tennessee, USA, is visible as a greyish circular area in the lower left quadrant, near a series of hills and ridges. These are part of the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley Province, which consists of a series of elongate and narrow ridges that traverse the upper Tennessee Valley.

Also of note in this image is a wildfire in the upper left quadrant, the smoke from which is blowing northeast. The fire is located in the state of Kentucky, not far from the Tennessee border.

The most substantial Ridge-and-Valley structures in the Knoxville area are Bays Mountain, which runs along the Knox-Blount county line to the south, and Beaver Ridge, which passes through the northern section of the town. The Great Smoky Mountains— a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains— are located approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of Knoxville.

In the southeast part of the city, the French Broad River joins the Holston River to form the Tennessee River. Knoxville is centered around a hilly area along the north bank of the river between its First Creek and Second Creek tributaries.

Two lakes are visible northeast of Knoxville. The first, Douglas Lake, also called Douglas Reservoir, is an artificial lake created by an impoundment of the French Broad River by Douglas Dam. The dam was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the early 1940s to control flooding in the Tennessee Valley and provide electricity to rural areas in the region. The lake, easily identified by it’s snakelike bends, is situated only a few miles from the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The second body of water, just north of Douglas Lake, is the Cherokee Reservoir, also known as Cherokee Lake, formed by the impoundment of the Holston River behind Cherokee Dam, which was built for hydroelectric generation and flood control. The reservoir has a surface area of about 28,780 acres (11,650 ha), a flood-storage capacity of 749,406 acre feet (924,379,000 m3), and nearly 400 miles (640 km) of shoreline. In a normal year, the lake water level fluctuates over a range of about 27 feet (8.2 m).

Smoke Billows from Wildfires in Queensland, Australia – November 7th, 2009

14.9S 142.9E

November 7th, 2009 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Fires on Cape York Peninsula, Australia - November 3rd, 2009

Fires on Cape York Peninsula, Australia - November 3rd, 2009

Fires in Queensland, Australia - November 4th, 2009

Fires in Queensland, Australia - November 4th, 2009

Thick plumes of smoke from multiple wildfires on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia, billow to the west towards the Gulf of Carpentaria in the main image, taken November 3rd.

The long trail of smoke originating near the east coast is from a wildfire in the Iron Range National Park. The other fires visible, on the other hand, appear to be outside national park areas. Also visible off the eastern shores is a section of the Great Barrier Reef.

The second image, taken the day after, focuses on fires further to the southeast in Queensland, in the Buckland Tableland area of the Great Dividing Range Mountains. This area, part of the Carnarvon National Park, consists of a complex of mountain ranges, plateaus, upland areas and escarpments with an ancient and complex geological history.

Other areas of Queensland are also at risk for fires, and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service has thus put fire bans into affect for North Burnett, Fraser Coast, South Burnett, Gympie, Cherbourg, Bundaberg, Whitsunday, Burdekin, Townsville, Charters Towers, Richmond, Mackay, Isaac, Banana, Gladstone and Rockhampton. The bans will remain in place until midnight on Monday, November 9th, although they may be extended again if dangerous fire conditions continue.