Western Australia (before floods)
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The normally dry salt pan lakes of Western Australia began to fill in the wake of two tropical storms, Monty and Evan, in late February and early March 2004. Salt pan lakes form where evaporation exceeds rainfall. Such lakes typically fill seasonally, and then disappear, leaving the salty minerals that give them their name. These Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, taken on March 1, show the northern sections of Western Australia, left, and the Northern Territory, right. On top is Lake Argyle, a permanent lake. To its south, a swollen Sturt Creek flows into the seasonal lake, Gregory Lake. The large salt pan lake in the south is Lake Mackay. Its lighter blue color with spots of tan in the false color image shows that it is shallow. In an image taken on February 3, a month earlier, Sturt Creek is barely visible, and the salt pan lakes to its south are smaller. Both images were taken by the MODIS on the Terra satellite.