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Sediments Framing Northern Coast of Brazil

15.6S 47.8W

June 16th, 2012 Category: Clouds, Lakes

Brazil - May 8th, 2012

The northern coastline of Brazil is framed by bright green and blue sediments, probably accompanied by phytoplankton growth. Areas of “popcorn” clouds hang over the landscape near the coast – these clouds tend to form above photosynthesizing plants. Visible in the lower left corner is the bright green reservoir created by the Sobradinho Dam on the São Francisco River in the state of Bahia.

Reservoirs on São Francisco River, Brazil

15.6S 47.8W

May 2nd, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Brazil - April 28th, 2012

Two large, artificial reservoirs can be observed along the São Francisco River, in northeastern Brazil. The river marks the border between the states of Bahia (below) and Pernambuco (above). At 3,160 kilometres long, it is the longest river located entirely within Brazil.

The lake to the left is known as the Sobradinho Reservoir. It measures approximately 320 km (200 mi) long, 4,214 km2 (1,627 sq mi) in surface area, and has a storage capacity of 34.1 km3 (8.2 cu mi) at its nominal elevation of 392.5 m (1,287.7 ft), making it the 12th-largest reservoir (artificial lake) in the world. Golden sediments color the lower half of the lake.

São Francisco River and Popcorn Clouds Over Northeast Brazil

7.4S 38.6W

December 16th, 2011 Category: Clouds, Rivers

Brazil - December 11th, 2011

Popcorn clouds can be seen near the northeastern coastline of Brazil. Water vapor released by plants is more buoyant than dry air, so it rises and eventually condenses into clouds like the popcorn clouds shown in this image.

Visible in the cloudless part of the image is the São Francisco River. With a length of 2,914 kilometres (1,811 mi), it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America.

The São Francisco originates in the Canastra mountain range in the central-western part of the state of Minas Gerais. It runs generally north in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, behind the coastal range, draining an area of over 630,000 square kilometres (240,000 sq mi), before turning east to form the border between Bahia on the right bank and the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas on the left one. After that, it forms the boundary between the states of Alagoas and Sergipe and washes into the Atlantic Ocean (the mouth can be observed south of the image center).

Sobradinho Reservoir and Sao Francisco River, Brazil

9.8S 41.5W

September 7th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Brazil - July 23rd, 2011

Visible just west of the spotty clouds is the Sobradinho Reservoir, a large lake located in Sobradinho, in the north of the Brazilian state of Bahia. The lake encloses the waters of the São Francisco River, one of the largest and most important rivers in Brazil.

The reservoir measures approximately 320 km (200 mi) long, 4,214 km2 (1,627 sq mi) in surface area, and a storage capacity of 34.1 km3 (8.2 cu mi) at its nominal elevation of 392.5 m (1,287.7 ft), making it the 12th-largest reservoir (artificial lake) in the world.


Sobradinho Lake and Serra da Mesa Reservoir, Brazil

12.3S 46.3W

August 24th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Brazil - August 12th, 2011

This image of Brazil includes parts of the states of Bahia (right), Tocantins (upper left) and Goiás (lower left). Two large reservoirs can be seen: the bright green Sobradinho Lake (center right), in the state of Bahia, and the reservoir created by the Serra da Mesa Dam (lower left), in the state of Goiás.

Sobradinho Lake, fed by the São Francisco River,  covers a surface area of 4,225 km2, making it the largest by surface area in Brazil. It has a mean depth of 8.6 m and a maximum depth of 30 m.

The Serra da Mesa Dam, an embankment dam on the Tocantins River, creates the largest reservoir by volume in Brazil, with a capacity of 54,400,000,000 m3 (1.92×1012 cu ft) and surface area of 1,784 km2 (689 sq mi).

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