Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The red dots seen throughout this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image represent fires burning along the Russia-China border. Both the true-color, photo-like image and the false color image were acquired by MODIS on the Terra satellite on April 28, 2004. The true-color image shows plumes of smoke rising from the fires and reveals the geology of the region. Gray rocks and deep green forests characterize the Khrebet Sikhote Mountain Range, which trends north-south down the section of Russia that borders the Sea of Japan. Spanning the border between the two countries is the massive Khanka Lake. Tan sediment swirls in the shallow lake, making it blend in with the surrounding landscape. The largest freshwater body of water in the region, the lake is an important wetland habitat, and as such, is a nature reserve on both sides of the border.
The false color image makes both the lake and the area burned by the fires easier to see. In this image, water is black or dark blue, clouds are light blue and white, snow is light blue, vegetation is bright green, and bare land is tan. The land that has been burned in recent fires is deep red-brown. Large burn scars can be seen throughout the image, but are particularly clear in Siberia, along the top edge of the image.
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