Intermountain West

Intermountain West
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Utah's Great Salt Lake stands out at the center of this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image take on September 28,2003 by the Terra satellite. A railroad causeway divides the lake into half. Cut off from the fresh water that flows primarily into the southern half of the lake, the northern section became saltier. Eventually, a different type of algae began to grow, turning the water a dark reddish brown. (For more information, see

Cutting across Utah's southeast corner into northern Arizona, the Colorado River gouges steep canyons in the pink stone. Along its steep banks are Bryce National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and the Grand Canyon. A fire, marked with a red dot, burns on the edge of the Grand Canyon, bottom left.

Also visible in this image is the Four Corners area, the only place where a person can be in four US states at once. Utah forms the upper left corner, Colorado is on the upper right, Arizona is on the lower left, and New Mexico stands in the lower right.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    September 28, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    September 29, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration