Aral Sea

Aral Sea
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

These true-color images of the shrinking Aral Sea, on the border of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, were acquired in fall and “almost-winter” 2002. Uzbekistan lies to the south, while Kazakhstan lies to the north. The large peninsula bisecting the lake used to be an island, but because water from the rivers feeding it was diverted for agricultural uses, the Sea is slowly shrinking. The small lake to the southwest is the Sarykamyshkoye Ozero, and the red dots mark where MODIS detected active fires. In December, the larger part of the Sea is filling with seasonal ice, while snow blankets the plains to the north and south.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    October 21, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    November 10, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration