Heavy summer rains brought relief from drought conditions in Queensland Australia. The rains also brought floods, which have slowly moved downstream into the desert. Shortly after the flood waters receded, bright green vegetation began to spring up in its place. In this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image acquired on February 15, 2004, by the Terra satellite, bright ribbons of green show where the flood waters passed. In images taken a few days before this one, a pale desert tan still dominates the landscape.
In addition to feeding new plant growth, the sudden abundance of water also provided new breeding grounds for locusts. As large numbers of the locusts mature and attack crops, farmers worry that swarms could move into other regions of Southern Australia. The Australian Plague Locust Commission has called this plague "potentially serious," and possibly the worst outbreak since 2001, when an estimated 100 billion locusts inundated the country.
This image is available in both true and false color. In the false color image, water is blue, vegetation is green, bare soil is pink, and clouds are blue.