This astronaut photograph illustrates flooding in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia, which experienced catastrophic flooding following unusually heavy rain on January 10, 2011.
With soils already saturated from previous rainfall, eastward-draining surface flow caused the Brisbane River to floodinundating an estimated 20,000 homes in suburbs of the capital city of Queensland. Other cities have also experienced damaging floods during heavy rainfall events this year.
The image, taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, highlights several suburbs along the Brisbane River in the southern part of the metropolitan area. The light-colored rooftops of residences and other structures contrast sharply with green vegetation and brown, sediment-laden floodwaters. Most visible low-lying areas are inundated, perhaps the most striking being Rocklea at image upper left. The suburb of Yeronga also has regions of flooding, as does a park and golf course located along a bend in the Brisbane River to the south of St. Lucia. Flooding becomes less apparent near the higher elevations of Mt. Coot-Tha.
Explore further: Scientists may be cracking mystery of big 1872 earthquake