March 25, 2011 - Morocco


On March 19, 2011 at 11:30 UTC the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite captured this striking true-color image of the Kingdom of Morocco, the country on North Africa’s western coast. Sandy and tan, Algeria borders Morocco on the east and green Spain lies to the north, across the Strait of Gibraltar. The Atlantic Ocean, colored with sediment and phytoplankton, is to the west and the Alboran Sea, the western section of the Mediterranean Sea, washes the eastern coast of the country.

The spine of the Morocco is formed by the Atlas Mountain range, which separates the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastal regions from the Sahara Desert. To the west of the mountains, rainfall is plentiful enough to allow rich vegetation in most areas, as can be seen by the early spring greening in this image. To the east of the Atlas range, the monochromatic palette of tans and browns illustrates the arid desert lands.

In Morocco, the Atlas Mountain range can be broken into three regions, which are easily viewed from space. To the north snow caps the Moyen Atlas peaks (also known as the Middle Atlas), while the High Atlas range is well covered with snow. The Anti-Atlas Mountains are to the south, and these snow-free peaks appear tan. From the dry southern coastline, dust blows across the blue waters of the Atlantic in long, tan plumes.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 3/19/2011
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC