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Fires Near Coast of Western Australia

15.9S 124.8E

May 3rd, 2013 Category: Fires, Sediments

Australia – May 1st, 2013

While sediments frame the coastline of northern Western Australia, creating dazzling blue and green hues in the waters offshore, further inland the landscape is partially obscured by thick plumes of smoke from dozens of fires. While winds are blowing the plumes due west in the upper half of the image, the smoke from a cluster of fires near King Sound has a circular shape, indicating that it is rising upward and/or being blown in all directions by shifting winds.

Smoke Over Western Australia – April 25th, 2013

15.2S 126.0E

April 25th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Australia – April 23rd, 2013

Fires in Western Australia create a cloud of haze that hangs over the region and blows northwestward over the ocean. These fires may be prescribed burns set purposefully, at the beginning of the dry season when vegetation has dried enough to burn but is still wet enough that fires won’t grow out of control, as part of a program managed by the Australian government and by conservation groups.

The objective of this program, called the Ecofire effort, is to reduce destructive late-season fires by increasing the number of early-season fires. This is done because early fires tend to burn in a pattern that makes it easier for vegetation to reestablish itself afterwards. Late-season fires, on the other hand, often sweep across the landscape and leave expansive burn scars that alter ecosystems for years.

Bush Fires in Tropical Savannas of Western Australia

15.9S 125.6E

April 24th, 2013 Category: Fires

Australia – April 24th, 2013

As the dry season, which usually runs from May to October, is about to begin in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, bush fires blaze in the area’s tropical savannas. When such fires occur in April and May, they usually burn themselves out after just a few days, since early in the dry season vegetation has dried enough to burn but is still wet enough that they can’t grow out of control.

Fires in Western Australia, Northeast of King Sound – April 16th, 2013

15.4S 125.7E

April 16th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Sediments

Australia – April 15th, 2013

Fires release thick grey plumes of smoke over northern Western Australia, in the land between King Sound (left) and the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf (visible by the right edge in the full image). Offshore, sediments give the coastal waters between the gulf and the sound a greenish tinge.

Sediments Along Coast of Western Australia

16.9S 123.5E

April 15th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Sediments

Australia – April 11th, 2013

Sediments give a tan color to the waters of King Sound (west), in Western Australia, and the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf (east), on the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Sediments can be seen along much of the coastline between the two bodies of water as well.

Due to climate change, sea levels along the west coast of Australia have been rising at more than double the global average. With a significant part of the population living in coastal cities and towns, rising sea levels pose significant risks to Western Australia’s coastal infrastructure and iconic sandy beaches.