Floods in Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia

Floods in Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

As the ground begins to thaw and snow melts, the Dnieper River and its tributaries have swollen with spring run-off. According to news reports, the rivers have caused some damage as flood waters inundate small cities along their banks. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image of the river system on April 4, 2004. Four major rivers are shown running into the Dnieper, the large river that forms the trunk of this tree-like structure. On the far right is the Desna River, with the Seym River branching off of it. The center right branch is formed by the Sozh River and its tributaries. The center left branch is the Dnieper, and running into it from the top left is the Byarezina River. The far left branch is formed by the Prypyats River.

Complicating this tangle of flowing water, the borders of three countries snake along the rivers, sometimes following their flow, but often not. Russia is in the top right corner of the image, Ukraine forms the lower third, and Belarus is in the upper left corner. Poland and Lithuania are visible along the left edge of the image, and Romania, Moldova, and the Black Sea sit on the lower edge.

While the flooded rivers are obvious in both the photo-like true color and the false color images, it is easiest to see in false color. Here, the rivers are black, while vegetation and bare land are green and light tan respectively. Clouds are light blue and white.

In addition to the flooding, MODIS also detected several fires, which have been marked with red dots. The fires were likely started by farmers clearing their fields for spring planting.

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  • Data Date:

    April 4, 2004
  • Visualization Date:

    April 7, 2004
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration