Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the world’s first ocean airport, built on a landfill island in Osaka Bay, Japan. Opened in 1994, KIX was a modern engineering marvel, built entirely as an artificial island. Because the site is built upon compacted fill, it suffers from subsidence, sinking 2-4 centimeters per year. The Kansai terminal is 1.7 kilometers long, and was designed by world-famous architect Renzo Piano. KIX is linked to the mainland by a 3.7-kilometer bridge, and provides air service for the nearby cities of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto.
Four months after opening, the airport was severely tested by the magnitude 6.7 Kobe earthquake; it survived with only minor damage, and provided continuous operation during the relief efforts. This simulated-natural-color ASTER image was acquired on September 19, 2003. The full scene covers an area of 48.5 x 55.5 km.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.