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Vegetation Index and Deforestation Near Manáus and Santarém, Brazil – December 2nd, 2009

3.1S 60W

December 2nd, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers

Brazil - November 19th, 2009

Brazil - November 19th, 2009

This FAPAR image shows an area of Amazon rainforest in Brazil, between Santarém in the state of Pará, where the Tapajós joins the Amazon River (right edge), and Manáus at the convergence of the Negro and Solimões (Upper Amazon) Rivers (left). FAPAR stands for Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation, which corresponds to the  area’s vegetation index.

In FAPAR images, the color spectrum over land runs from red (1.0), to green, to yellow and white (0.0), while bodies of water, such as the Amazon River running through the image center, generally appear blue.

High photosynthetic activity is present in dark red regions, such as those concentrated on the left side of the image. The photosynthetic activity decreases as one moves to the right side of the image, although green areas are also productive. Yellow to white zones, with the exception of clouds, indicate a low degree of photosynthetic activity; however, few such areas are present here.

Upon opening the full image, the distinctive herringbone pattern of some deforested areas is visible. Near the Amazon River, these areas appear as yellow lines amidst the surrounding green, while in the upper left quadrant the lines are green in contrast to the surrounding dark red.

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