Image of the Week: Oxbow lakes in the Amazon basin
7 Aug 2012
This Envisat images shows the Juruá River snaking through the Amazon rainforest in western Brazil.
(JPG, 8.4 Mb)
Rainforest river, Brazil. Credits: ESA.
The Juruá is the most winding river in the Amazon basin, also making it one of the longest tributaries of the Amazon River at 2040 miles (3203km) long.
The image shows a number of oxbow lakes along the rivers course marking the history of the changing course of the river as it erodes the path of least resistance to the sea.
Given its size, remote sensing is the best way to study the Amazon Basin on a large scale. Many of the Jurua’s were first mapped via satellite only in the late 1970’s.
Satellite data is often the most efficient way of assessing changes to the forest, particularly in inaccessible areas. This can be used to monitor the extent of and damage caused by deforestation.
This image is a compilation of three images from Envisat’s radar, acquired on 2 January, 1 February and 3 March 2012. The individual images are each assigned a colour – red, green and blue – and when combined, reveal changes in the surface between Envisat’s passes.