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Posts tagged Wetlands

Oil Continues to Spread in Gulf of Mexico

28.8N 88.5W

May 3rd, 2010 Category: Environmental Disasters

Oil Spill (Multispectral/Radar Composite), Gulf of Mexico - May 2nd, 2010

Oil Spill (Multispectral/Radar Composite), Gulf of Mexico - May 2nd, 2010

Oil Spill Detail (Mutispectral/Radar Composite)

Oil Spill Detail (Mutispectral/Radar Composite)

Oil Spill Detail (Radar Image)

Oil Spill Detail (Radar Image)

As President Obama traveled to Louisiana on Sunday for a first-hand briefing on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, federal officials in Washington said they were putting their hopes on drilling a parallel relief well to plug the unabated gusher. Drilling such a well could take three months, the NY Times reports.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Sunday restricted fishing for at least 10 days in waters most affected by the oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay.

The slick, emanating from a pipe 50 miles offshore, was creeping into Louisiana’s fragile coastal wetlands as strong winds and rough waters hampered cleanup efforts. Oil could hit the shores of Alabama and Mississippi on Monday. Here, the slick can be seen spreading towards the coasts from the image center.

The environmental disaster was set off by an explosion on April 20 at the Deepwater Horizon rig in which 11 workers were killed. Two days later, the rig sank, leading to the first visible signs of a spill.

The objective of drilling a relief well parallel to the original rig would be to pour cement into the damaged well and plug it. Efforts to turn off the ruptured well by using remotely operated underwater vehicles working a mile below the surface have failed so far.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported that offshoots from the spill had made their way into South Pass, an important channel through the salt marshes of Southeastern Louisiana that is a breeding ground for crabs oysters, shrimp and redfish sold by a number of small seafood businesses dependent on healthy marshland for their livelihood.

There was concern that if the spill is not plugged, oil could seep into the Gulf Stream, the current that warms seawater and influences the climate in places as remote as Newfoundland and Europe. If that happens, slicks of oil could travel around the thumb-like tip of Florida and make it way to the eastern beaches.

White River National Wildlife Refuge Near the Mississippi River, USA – April 20th, 2010

34.2N 91.1W

April 20th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

USA - March 5th, 2010

USA - March 5th, 2010

West of the brown, curving ribbon of the Mississippi River and amidst the surrounding tan landscape is the White River National Wildlife Refuge, identifiable as a large area of dark green vegetation. The refuge is located in Desha, Monroe, Phillips, and Arkansas counties in the USA state of Arkansas.

The White River National Wildlife Refuge has a surface area of 160,000 acres (650 km2) – it is 3 to 10 miles (4.8 to 16 km) wide and encompasses 90 miles (140 km) of the lower 100 miles (160 km) of the White River.

The refuge lies with the Mississippi lowland forests ecoregion. Amidst the forest are 356 natural and man-made lakes, which make up 4,000 acres (16 km2) of the refuge. There are 154,000 acres (620 km2) of forestland, 900 acres (3.6 km2) of agricultural land, and 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of grassland. It is classified as a Wetland of International Importance.

Green Landscape Around Mar Chiquita in Córdoba, Argentina – April 6th, 2010

30.7S 62.8W

April 6th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Argentina - March 5th, 2010

Argentina - March 5th, 2010

Central Argentina’s Mar Chiquita appears surrounded by green vegetation in this image taken during the southern hemisphere summer. In previous images (click here), this endorheic salt lake appeared surrounded by a drier landscape.

Mar Chiquita, also known as Mar de Ansenuza, is located in the southern part of a large depression in the northeast of the province of Córdoba.  It is the largest of Argentina’s naturally occurring saline lakes.

Mar Chiquita is fed primarily by the saline waters of the Dulce River, coming from Santiago del Estero in the north after being joined by the Saladillo River. The lands around the lower course of the Dulce and Mar Chiquita are wetlands.

Fires West of Wetlands in Southern Sudan – December 22nd, 2009

8.3N 30.7E

December 22nd, 2009 Category: Fires, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Sudan - December 16th, 2009

Sudan - December 16th, 2009

This green area of wetlands in southern Sudan includes Lake No, near the river at the top, the Zefah Game Reserve, center, and part of the swamp of the Sudd, below. Several fires are visible just west of the wetlands.

Lake No is a lake in Sudan. It is located just north of the vast swamp of the Sudd, at the confluence of the Bahr al Jabal and Bahr el Ghazal rivers. It marks the transition between the Bahr al Jabal and White Nile proper.

The Sudd, also called the Bahr el Jebel, As Sudd or Al Sudd in southern Sudan, is a vast swamp formed by the White Nile. The area covered thereby is one of the world’s largest wetlands and the largest freshwater wetland in the Nile basin.

Lakes on the Flatlands of Alaska’s Northern Coast, USA

70.5N 153.6W

November 6th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Alaska, USA - September 6th, 2009

Alaska, USA - September 6th, 2009

The northern coastal region of Alaska, along the shores of the Arctic Ocean, is home to many lakes. In this ASAR image, they appear as large black holes in the surrounding landscape.

Alaska has more than three million lakes. Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,747 km2). These are mostly found in northern, western and southwest flatlands, such as those visible here along the northern shores.

Here, Smith Bay can be seen in the upper left corner. To its right is another bay, the less indented Avatanak Bight. The two largest lakes just south of the bight are Naluakruk Lake (more rounded, left) and Okalik Lake (right).

Southwest of those two is actually another larger body of water, the 22 mile wide Teshekpuk Lake. However, it is difficult to identify here as much of its water appears grey rather than black.