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Lake Ihotry and Mangoky River Delta, Madagascar

21.9S 43.6E

April 26th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Madagascar – April 26th, 2013

Visible near the western shores of Madagascar is the green Lake Ihotry, a closed saline lake in semi-arid southwestern part of Madagascar. Its area varies seasonally, from 96 km² to 112 km², as does its salinity. Between the lake and the coast is a rather large, whitish area of sand interspersed with silt-laden ponds.

Visible north of the lake is the mouth of the Mangoky River, through which sediments can be seen pouring into the Mozambique Channel. The river is 564 kilometers (350 mi) long, rising in the Central Highlands and flowing generally in a westerly direction out of them, crossing the southern extension of the Bemaraha Plateau, until it reaches the coastal plain and its delta.

Most of Madagascar has undergone serious deforestation during the last 40 years, chiefly from slash-and-burn practises by indigenous peoples. This loss of forest has led to extreme soil erosion in the Mangoky River basin, as evidenced by the many sandbars located within the river channel.

The southern portion of the Ihotry delta is dominated by successive barrier island and spit formation. In contrast, the northern, protected portion of the delta is dominated by tidal passes and mangrove swamps.

Green Lake Ihotry Near Mouth of Mangoky River, Madagascar

21.7S 43.3E

May 4th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Madagascar - April 28th, 2012

Rivers along the western coast of Madagascar carry tan sediments from the country’s central highlands to the Mozambique Channel. The river releasing the most sediments, visible in the lower part of the image, is the Mangoky River. With a length of 564 kilometers (350 mi), the river enters the Mozambique Channel north of the city of Morombe.

Visible south of the rivermouth and slightly further inland is Lake Ihotry, appearing bright green here. It is a closed saline lake in semi-arid southwestern part of Madagascar with an area that varies seasonally, from 96 km² to 112 km².

Mangoky River and Lake Ihotry by Madagascar’s West Coast

21.7S 43.3E

January 2nd, 2012 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Madagascar - December 24th, 2011

Several rivers, all tan due to the sediments they are carrying, can be observed flowing from Madagascar’s central highlands to the Mozambique Channel on the country’s west coast. One of the most visible of these is the Mangoky River, crossing the lower part of the image.

The Mangoky is a 564-kilometer-long (350 mi) river in that rises in the Central Highlands of Madagascar just east of the city of Fianarantsoa. The river flows generally in a westerly direction out of the highlands, crosses the southern extension of the Bemaraha Plateau, reaches the coastal plain and its delta, and enters the Mozambique Channel north of the city of Morombe.

Most of Madagascar has undergone serious deforestation during the last 40 years, chiefly from slash-and-burn practises by indigenous peoples. This loss of forest has led to extreme soil erosion in the Mangoky River basin, as evidenced by the many sandbars located within the river channel. Silt-laden, greenish-tan Lake Ihotry is clearly discernible south of the river. Between the lake and the coast is a rather large, whitish area of sand interspersed with silt-laden ponds. The southern portion of the delta is dominated by successive barrier island and spit formation.

Rivers Along Western Coast of Madagascar

21.7S 43.5E

April 15th, 2011 Category: Rivers

Madagascar - March 31st, 2011

Many rivers along the western coast of Madagascar appear as light tan and reddish lines, empyting sediments into the Mozambique Channel.

In the full image, the most prominent rivers are, from top to bottom: the Manambaho, Mamambolo, Tsiribihina, Morondava, Mangoky, Fiherenana, Onilahy, Linta and Menarandra Rivers.

Rivers Along West Coast of Madagascar

16.6S 44.4E

July 21st, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Madagascar - July 4th, 2010

Madagascar - July 4th, 2010

Upon opening the full version of this image, the entire western half and coastline of Madagascar can be observed. Several rivermouths can be seen along the shoreline, emptying sediments into the Strait of Mozambique.

Here, most of the sediments are flowing forth from the Sambao River, whose mouth is just below the westernmost point on the island. Following the coastline northwards, the mouths of the Betsiboka River (below) and the Sofia River (above) can also be seen, although these rivers are releasing few sediments at the moment.

Moving southward down the coast, several other rivers appear as light tan lines across the landscape. One of the longest of these  is the Mangoky, whose mouth is situated near a greenish body of water, Lake Ihotry.

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