Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 22, 2009 – Lake Eyre Fills

By SpaceRef Editor
April 22, 2009
Filed under , , ,
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 22, 2009 – Lake Eyre Fills
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 22, 2009 - Lake Eyre Fills


South of the Simpson Desert in Australia is the Lake Eyre Basin.

The Lake Eyre Basin covers 1/6 of the country, including parts of Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and western New South Wales.

All the rivers in this region flow inland (when there is rain to fill them), towards Lake Eyre, the lowest point in Australia. Lake Eyre is usually a dry, salt lake – it only fills up approximately once a century. When it does fill, the landscape changes from arid desert as plants, long dormant begin to grow and birds (which can number in the millions) and animals seek out the water. A month ago flood waters from Queensland started flowing towards Lake Eyre and are filling it, though it may take some time to see exactly how much the lake will fill. The last time it filled to the brim was in the 1970s. The lake may not fill totally, but after a prolonged drought, the flood waters are welcome in the region. There are some photographs of water making its way to the lake on this Australian site in the left-hand column. The image you see here, captured on April 13, 2009 by the MODIS on the Terra satellite, is false-color and uses a combination of light visible to human eyes and light our eyes cannot see. Here clouds appear translucent pale aqua blue, water appears medium blue, navy blue or black, vegetation appears bright green, and bare rock appears pinkish-brown. Lake Eyre in this image, is irregularly shaped – the northern parts of it have water as evidenced by the blue coloration. You can trace the water flowing south to it via Warburton Creek. For a nice labeled image of the Lake Eyre water basin, try this page from the Australian government.

SpaceRef staff editor.