Picture of the Week—A River in Madagascar

NASA labeled this satellite image “Madagascar in Blue and Green,” which I find appropriate for a picture that can double as art. The blue is Bombetoka Bay, on the northwestern coast of Madagascar where the Betsiboka River flows into the salty Mozambique Channel.Numerous islands and sandbars have f...

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Madagascar in Blue and Green, courtesy of NASA








NASA labeled this satellite image “ Madagascar in Blue and Green,” which I find appropriate for a picture that can double as art. The blue is Bombetoka Bay, on the northwestern coast of Madagascar where the Betsiboka River flows into the salty Mozambique Channel.

Numerous islands and sandbars have formed in the estuary from the large amount of sediment carried in by the Betsiboka River and have been shaped by the flow of the river and the push and pull of tides.



This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite shows Bombetoka Bay just upstream of where it opens up into the Mozambique Channel, which separates Madagascar from Africa to the west. In the image, water is sapphire and tinged with pink where sediment is particularly thick. Dense vegetation is deep green.
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Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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