Earth from Space: Valentine Island, Australia

©ESA

Earth from Space: Valentine Island, Australia.

For Valentine's Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Valentine Island in northern Western Australia.

The tiny Valentine Island, visible in the top-left of the image, measures around 1.6 km in length and around 250 m wide. The island is located in the King Sound, a large gulf and inlet of the Indian Ocean in Australia's Kimberley Region. The gulf is around 120 km long and averages about 50 km in width.

The King Sound has one of the highest tides in Australia, and amongst the highest in the world, reaching a maximum tidal round of around 11 to 12 m. The Fitzroy River, one of Australia's largest watercourses, along with the Lennard, Meda and Robinson Rivers, empty their muddy and sediment-laden waters into the Sound.

The port town of Derby lies near the mouth of the Fitzoy River on the east shore of the King Sound.

A myriad of mangrove estuaries can be seen scattered around the coast. Australia is surrounded by around 11 000 km of mangrove-lined coast, located primarily on the northern and eastern coasts of the continent. Mangroves contribute many environmental benefits to coastal and estuarine ecosystems; they provide food and habitats for a wealth of wildlife such as birds and fish.

As more people move closer to coastal zones, the risk to mangroves increases. Greater pressure is placed on the mangrove environment from both direct and indirect sources such as dumping of waste, fish farming, sea level rise and climate change.

This image is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

- Download the full high-resolution image.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.