Tsunami Flooding around Ishinomaki

Tsunami Flooding around Ishinomaki
  • Credit:

    NASA image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using data from the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Michon Scott.

In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, flood waters inundated large stretches of Ishinomaki, Japan. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on March 14, 2011, three days after the ground shaking and a wall of water devastated the city.

This false-color image is designed to distinguish between water and land. Water is blue, vegetation is red, and bare ground and urban areas range in color from blue-gray to pink-beige. Water covers agricultural fields around the city, forming blue rectangles. Flooding is most apparent on either side of the river, and north of the air field (identifiable by its runways, image lower left).

Ishinomaki lies along the northern end of Sendai Bay. The low coastal plain along this bay allowed tsunami waters to penetrate far inland, and Ishinomaki was one of Japan’s hardest-hit cities.

Images & Animations


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  • JPEG 13 MB

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  • Data Date:

    March 14, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    March 7, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - ASTER
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration