July 6, 2009 - Aral Sea

The Aral Sea

The waters of the Aral Sea appear emerald green in this image, captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on June 18, 2009. The Aral Sea islocated in Kazakhstan (north) and Uzbekistan (south). The Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1960s and 70s when the two main rivers that feed it - the Amudar'ya and the Syrdar'ya - were diverted to support agricultural endeavors - mainly rice and cotton.

As a result of the shrinkage, the Aral sea has been split into the North and South Aral Seas. The South Aral Sea has also been split in two as well. The right side of the South Aral Sea has a great deal of dry lake bed visible, as well as sediment.

The two red dots are the locations of active fires.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 06/18/2009
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC