Manaus Region of Brazil #3398

#3398 Manaus Region of Brazil by JVPD
These L-band images of the Manaus region of Brazil were acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. The left image was acquired on April 12th 1994, and the middle image was acquired on October 3rd 1994. The area shown is approximately 8 kilometers by 40 kilometers (5 miles by 25 miles). The two large rivers in this image, the Rio Negro (top) and the Rio Solimoes (bottom), combine at Manaus (west of the image) to form the Amazon River. The image is centered at about 3 degrees south latitude and 61 degrees west longitude. North is toward the top left of the images. The differences in brightness between the images reflect changes in the scattering of the radar channel. In this case, the changes are indicative of flooding. A flooded forest has a higher backscatter at L-band (horizontally transmitted and received) than an unflooded river. The extent of the flooding is much greater in the April image than in the October image, and corresponds to the annual, 10-meter (33-foot) rise and fall of the Amazon River. A third image at right shows the change in the April and October images and was created by determining which areas had significant decreases in the intensity of radar returns. These areas, which appear blue on the third image at right, show the dramatic decrease in the extent of flooded forest, as the level of the Amazon River falls. The flooded forest is a vital habitat for fish and floating meadows are an important source of atmospheric methane. This demonstrates the capability of SIR-C/X-SAR to study important environmental changes that are impossible to see with optical sensors over regions such as the Amazon, where frequent cloud cover and dense forest canopies obscure monitoring of floods.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech [0003-0701-0819-5654] by 0003

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amazon river, brazil, geography, jpl, manaus, manaus region, manaus region of brazil, nasa, rio negro, rio solimoes