Image: Flooding from Mississippi river levee breach

May 12, 2011
Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives at the Birds Point levee near Wyatt, Missouri, at 10:02 p.m. on May 2, 2011. Water from the intentional breach flooded a 130,000-acre stretch of land. Two more breaches were detonated on May 3 and 5. This image from the Advanced Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the resultant flooding of farmland west of the Mississippi 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the levee breach. On the image, vegetation is displayed in red, bare fields in gray and water in blue. The image covers an area of 30.7 by 39 miles (49.5 by 63 kilometers), and is located near 36.5 degrees north latitude, 89.4 degrees west longitude.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal region and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet, or about 15 to 90 meters, ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.

The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and, measuring surface heat balance.

Explore further: NASA Sees Santa Barbara Wildfires

Related Stories

NASA Sees Santa Barbara Wildfires

August 8, 2007

This image shows the Zaca fire, which continues to burn in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara, Calif. The image was acquired by ASTER on Aug. 7, 2007.

Fires Burning Near Big Sur, California

July 1, 2008

Fires near Big Sur, Calif., continued to burn unchecked when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on Sunday, June 29.

New NASA Image Shows Extent of Station Fire Burn

September 9, 2009

On September 6, 2009, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this simulated natural color image of the Station fire, burning in the San Gabriel ...

NASA's ASTER Instrument Observes Haiti Quake Aftermath

January 18, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this simulated natural color image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti, area, Jan. 14, 2010, ...

NASA satellite sees area affected by Japan tsunami

March 16, 2011

A new before-and-after image pair from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows a region of Japan's northeastern coast, northeast of the city of ...

Recommended for you

'Snowball earth' might be slushy

August 3, 2015

Imagine a world without liquid water—just solid ice in all directions. It would certainly not be a place that most life forms would like to live.

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.