Seasonal flooding in Southern Africa
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The rivers of southwestern Africa are overflowing with excess water from a wet rainy season in this true and false color image pair, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on April 21, 2004. In both images, the flood water is black against the green background of surrounding vegetation. The rivers flood regularly, but this year’s floods were more extensive than normal.
Three regions of flooding are shown in this scene. On the left side of the image near the center is the long, north-south-running Zambezi River. This section of the river runs through Zambia before curving east in Namibia’ Caprivi Strip. In Namibia, the river has flooded again, creating a large oval of dark flood water in the eastern tip of the country. Southwest of the Zambezi floods is the Okavango River Delta, which resembles the tangled roots of a plant. The dark water spreading beyond the green banks of the river suggests that the Okavango Delta may also be flooded.