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Tan and Brown Waters of Lagoa dos Patos and Lagoa Mirim, in Brazil and Uruguay – November 7th, 2010

31.1S 51.9W

November 7th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

Brazil and Uruguay - October 12th, 2010

Although scattered clouds dot the skies over coastal Brazil and Uruguay, the skies over two large lagoons near the shoreline remain clear. These two bodies of water are the Lagoa dos Patos and Lagoa Mirim.

Lagoa dos Patos, further north and tan in color, is located entirely within Brazil. Lagoa Mirim, also called Laguna Merín, is further south and brownish grey in color, and shared by Brazil and Uruguay.

Different Colored Sediments in Lagoa dos Patos and Lagoa Mirim, Brazil – June 27th, 2010

30.9S 51.2W

June 27th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Sediments

Brazil - June 6th, 2010

Brazil - June 6th, 2010

Two large lagoons are visible here, near the Atlantic coast of southern Brazil. Both are brown in color due to sediments, although Lagoa dos Patos is a lighter tan, while its neighbor to the south, Lagoa Mirim, is greyish.

Lagoa dos Patos, translated to Lagoon of the Ducks in English, is located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Lagoa Mirim, also known as Laguna Merín in Spanish and translated to Mirim Lagoon in English, extends from the southern part of Rio Grande do Sul into eastern Uruguay.

High Vegetation Index in Misiones Province, Argentina – January 4th, 2012

26.9S 54.4W

January 4th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Vegetation Index

Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina - December 29th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of northeastern Argentina (top left), southern Brazil (above) and Uruguay (below). Visible near the coast are two lagoons: Lagoa dos Patos (above) and Lagoa Mirim (below, called Laguna Merín in Spanish). The Rio de la Plata Estuary can also be observed at the bottom left of the full image.

The vegetation index is highest (rusty red) to the northwest, in Argentina’s Misiones Province. The rest of the land shows a generally good index of photosynthetic activity (green), with some areas of high activity interspersed throughout.

Clouds Over the Rio de la Plata Estuary, Argentina and Uruguay – August 12th, 2010

35.4S 56.3W

August 12th, 2010 Category: Clouds, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Argentina and Uruguay- July 29th, 2010

Thick tan sediments spill out of the Rio de la Plata estuary and into the Atlantic Ocean. The estuary is always silty due to the heavy sediment load carried by the Uruguay and Paraná Rivers.

Here, a thick layer of white clouds partially obscures the estuary. The shorelines, however, are cloud free, and it is possible to see the cities of Buenos Aires, Argentina (left, lower banks) and Montevideo, Uruguay (right, upper banks).

Moving up the Uruguayan coastline to the Brazil-Uruguay border, Lagoa Mirim (Laguna Merín in Spanish) can be seen in the upper right corner. Like the Rio de la Plata estuary, it is also filled with sediments; however, it is a darker grey-brown in color.

Rio de la Plata, South America – October 10th, 2008

October 10th, 2008 Category: Image of the day

Rio de la Plata - October 6th, 2008

Rio de la Plata - October 6th, 2008

The Río de la Plata (meaning the Silver River in English), whose mouth can be seen in the center of the image as a funnel-shaped indentation, is the estuary formed by the merging of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River. It is located on the southeastern coastline of South America, extending 290 kilometres (180 mi) from where the rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean.

The estuary is the widest in the world: where the rivers converge, it is 48 kilometres (30 mi) wide, and it runs to the southeast growing to 220 kilometres (137 mi) wide where it opens on the Atlantic Ocean.

The river forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay; in this image we can observe those two countries as well as Brazil. Argentina’s capital city and major port, Buenos Aires, is located is the southeast part of the estuary, while Uruguay’s capital and major port, Montevideo, is in the northeast part.

The basin drained by the main tributaries of the Río de la Plata (the Uruguay and Paraná, and the important Paraná tributary, the Paraguay) covers approximately one fifth of South America, including area in southeastern Bolivia, southern and central Brazil, the entire nation of Paraguay, most of Uruguay and northern Argentina. An estimated 57 million cubic metres (2 billion cubic feet) of silt is carried into the estuary each year, where the muddy waters are stirred up by winds and the tides. In the image that silt is visible as the brown in the water of the rivermouth.

North of the Rio de la Plata and Uruguay, along the Brazilian coast, we can see two other brown colored bodies of water: Lagoa dos Patos (Lagoon of the Ducks) and Lagoa Mirim. The former is the second largest lagoon in Latin America, located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It is 174 miles (280 km) long, has a maximum width of 44 miles (70 km), and a total area of 3,803 sq. mi. (9,850 km). A 5 mile (8 kilometer) wide sandbar separates it from the Atlantic Ocean. The lagoon is evidently the remains of an ancient depression in the coastline shut in by sand beaches built up by the combined action of wind and current. It is at sea level, but its waters are affected by the tides. Lagoa Mirim is located just south of Lagoa dos Patos; the two are connected by the navigable São Gonçalo Channel. The light sands of the beaches near the lagoons are clearly visible in the image.

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