Within hours of the magnitude-9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, a wall of water came ashore in northeastern Japan. Eight days later, seawater still sat on agricultural fields along Sendai Bay.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on March 19, 2011. ASTER combines infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light to make false-color images that distinguish between water and land. Water is blue; buildings and paved surfaces are blue-gray. Agricultural fields range in color from brown to beige to pink. Vegetation is red, and brighter shades indicate more robust vegetation.
The blue rectangles are flooded fields. Although the water is most visible on relatively flat agricultural land, damage from the earthquake and the tsunami extended far inland.
- Staff. (2012, March 7). The Japanese tsunami: After shock. Nature, 483, 137.