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Sediments Along Coast of Southern Brazil

27.9S 48.6W

May 16th, 2013 Category: Sediments

Brazil – May 10th, 2013

Sediments, perhaps mixed with phytoplankton, line the coast of the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul (below) and Santa Catarina (above). In the full image, the state and city of São Paulo can be seen as well (top). Partially obscured by clouds by the bottom edge is Lagoa dos Patos, a heavily sedimented coastal lagoon.

Juruá River Running Through Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

7.6S 72.6W

April 25th, 2013 Category: Rivers

Brazil – April 25th, 2013

Some populated areas can be seen near the banks of rivers running through the Amazon Rainforest in the Brazilian states of Acre (below) and Amazonas (above). Near the left edge in the upper left quadrant is the municipality of Cruzeiro do Sul, on the banks of the Juruá River.

The Juruá is a southern affluent river of the Amazon River west of the Purus River, sharing with this the bottom of the immense inland Amazon depression, and having all the characteristics of the Purus as regards curvature, sluggishness and general features of the low, half-flooded forest country it traverses. It rises among the Ucayali highlands, and is navigable and unobstructed for a distance of 1133 miles (1823 km) above its junction with the Amazon. It has a total length of approximately 1500 miles (2414 km), and is one of the longest tributaries of the Amazon.

Deforestation in Rondônia, Brazil – April 23rd, 2013

11.5S 63.5W

April 23rd, 2013 Category: Deforestation, Image of the day

Brazil – April 22nd, 2013

The state of Rondônia in western Brazil, once home to 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres), has become one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s forests have been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest had been cleared.

In this image, intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Deforestation follows a fairly predictable pattern: the first clearings that appear in the forest are in a fishbone pattern, arrayed along the edges of roads. Over time, the fishbones collapse into a mixture of forest remnants, cleared areas, and settlements.

Lagoons and Wetlands in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina

28.2S 57.1W

April 7th, 2013 Category: Fires, Lakes, Wetlands

Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina – April 6th, 2013

Several bodies of water can be observed in this image of southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Near the coast are two lagoons: Lagoa dos Patos, in Brazil, and Lagoa Merim/Laguna Merín, shared by Brazil and Uruguay. There is a strong presence of sediments in both lakes.

In the upper left quadrant of the image are the Esteros del Iberá, or Iberá Wetlands, a mix of swamps, bogs, stagnant lakes, lagoons, natural slough and courses of water in the center and center-north of the province of Corrientes, Argentina. The Esteros are the second-largest wetlands in world after Pantanal in Brazil. They are of pluvial origin, with a total area 15,000 to 20,000 km². A fire can be seen near this wetlands area, releasing a white plume of smoke towards the south.

Vegetation Index of Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

4.2S 66.7W

March 27th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Vegetation Index

Brazil – March 26th, 2013

This image shows the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of the Amazon Rainforest, mostly in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Dark green areas indicate a high index, while yellow and brown areas indicate a low index. Scientists have reported that climate change is leading to substitution of rainforest with savanna-like and semiarid vegetation, a phenomenon known as the Amazon forests’ “dieback”, particularly around the edges of the forest. Monitoring the NDVI in images such as this one allows researchers to see how fast and how much rainforest is being replaced with drier vegetation.

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