March 27, 2020 - Lake Balkhash Begins to Thaw

Lake Balkhash Begins to Thaw

On March 25, 2020, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of Lake Balkhash shaking off the winter coating of ice.

Large cracks have formed in the ice in eastern section of the lake while ice pulls away from the western shore. Most of the ice has melted in the western section of the lake, leaving large areas of open water. Sediment, carried by spring runoff from the surrounding land and carried in by rivers flush with meltwater, causes the muddy-tan swirls and streaks in the turquoise waters.

Thanks to the NASA Worldview app, the rapid change in ice cover on Lake Balkhash on March 25, 2020 can be easily compared to the thick, unbroken white cover of ice on the lake on February 20. To view a roll-over comparison between MODIS images on the two dates click the link HERE.

The NASA Worldview app provides a satellite's perspective of the planet as it looks today and as it has in the past through daily satellite images. Worldview is part of NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System. EOSDIS makes the agency's large repository of data accessible and freely available to the public.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 3/25/2020
Resolutions: 1km (149.6 KB), 500m (341.2 KB), 250m (646.5 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC