PROBA-V 2019 Image Calendar
JANUARY 2019 - LARSEN C ICE SHELF, ANTARCTICA
Larsen C is the fourth largest Antarctic ice shelf, with an area of about 44,000 km2. From July 2017 onwards, a large iceberg (A-68) with an area of 5,800 km2 has started to calf off from the main shelf and is gradually splintering into smaller icebergs. This calving and splintering process can be seen by comparing the 100 m images of 4 November 2017 with the image of 7 January 2018.
FEBRUARY 2019 - CHANGES IN THE NILE DELTA, EGYPT
The Nile Delta in Egypt is a very dynamic area. Between 2014 and 2018 the area has changed quite significantly. East of the Nile Delta you can clearly see the second Suez canal which was completed in 2015. Further, in the eastern part of the Nile Delta, pivot irrigation fields replaced the dry desert, while in the western part the opposite occurred.
MARCH 2019 - RECOVERY OF LAKE POOPÓ, BOLIVIA
Lake Poopó is a shallow saline lake at high altitude (3,700 m), located in the Bolivian Andes. It once covered an area of about 1,000 km2, but quickly dried up in 2015 due to a persistent El Niño drought and by water diverted from the lake for agriculture and mining. However, wetter conditions during the 2017-2018 raining season have replenished the lake to its orginal size.
APRIL 2019 - FIRES IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA
During April 2018, a combination of bushfires and controlled fires blackened large areas of Australia’s Northern Territory, as is visible from the brown areas in the 300 m image of 28 April 2018. Part of these fires are set and controlled by firefighters to e.g. protect human communities from extreme fires, recycle nutrients back to the soil, and to promote the growth of plants, trees, and wildflowers.
MAY 2019 - UMM A’SAMMIM, OMAN
The yellow parts in the 2014 and 2018 images are sand dunes, while the large dark area is the Umm A’Samim, a sabkha formed where the aquifer fed by the southern slopes of the Western Hajar mountains comes to the surface. It was probably a shallow paleolake 5,000 – 20,000 years ago. The water under the sabkha is highly saline and includes potassium chloride. The dark appearence is caused by archaeo-bacterial communities at the surface and a change in colour among others indicates dissolution of surface salts by local rain water.
JUNE 2019 - REPLENISHMENT OF NORTHERN ARAL SEA, KAZACHSTAN
The Aral Sea once was the world’s fourth-largest lake, before it shrunk to only 10% of its size between the 1960s and early 2000s, as a result of former Soviet irrigation projects. However, thanks to Kazakh damming efforts, from 2005 onwards the North Aral Sea became gradually, but significantly replenished, as is visible from the 100 m images of 2014 and 2018.
JULY 2019 - WADI SYSTEM IN DHOFAR, OMAN
In 2014 and 2018, PROBA-V captured these beautiful images of the confluence of wadis in the Dhofar region of Oman. The wadi system is just to the south of the Rub’al Khali or “Empty Quarter”, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world. The agricultural oasis of Shishr (or Wubar), with pivot irrigation using aquifer water, stands out as red dots and have significantly increased between 2014 and 2018.
AUGUST 2019 - DROUGHT THEEWATERSKLOOF RESERVOIR, SOUTH AFRICA
Theewaterskloof reservoir supplies Cape Town’s inhabitants with fresh water. However, persistent droughts resulted in the reservoir drying up to about a quarter of its normal size in 2017, as is clearly visible in the image of 17 March 2018. By mid 2018, the drought had ceased, rainfall was abundant again, and the reservoir gained in size, as can be seen in the image of 25 October 2018.
SEPTEMBER 2019 - PAMPAS RECOVERED FROM WILDFIRES, ARGENTINA
Fueled by dry, hot weather, and strong winds, during December 2016 and January 2017 about 10,000 km2 of the Argentina pampas were burnt. The 100 m image of 6 January 2017 clearly shows the burnt areas which stand out as dark brown/blackish patches, while some of the wildfires’ smoke plumes are visible in light-blue. The 100 m image of 24 July 2017 shows the pampas’ recovery.
OCTOBER 2019 - THE HALLOWEEN SHAPES OF LAKE EYRE, AUSTRALIA
Lake Eyre is located in the deserts of central Australia and was formed by wind activity processes after tectonic upwarping occurred at the end of the Pleistocene. Its basin is filled with a characteristic salt pan formed and maintained by the seasonal expansion and subsequent evaporation of the trapped waters. Even in the dry season, there is usually some water remaining in Lake Eyre, normally spread out over about 200 smaller sub-lakes within its boundaries.
NOVEMBER 2019 - 2018 CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES, USA
The 2018 California wildfire season was the most destructive on record, with lots of personal and material damage. The dramatic Camp Fire near Sacremento and San Francisco, with more than 600 km2 of burnt area, started on 8 November 2018 and the fires were still fully raging one week later, as can be seen from the extensive smoke and ash plumes in the 300 m image of 14 November 2018.
DECEMBER 2019 - ALPINE SNOW SEASON, EUROPE
The 2017-2018 Alpine snow season had abundant snow throughout and enabled wintersport activities even until May. The 100 m image of 25 December 2017 shows the extensive snow coverage in both the lower and higher parts. The warm and dry 2018 summer season continued throughout September, the 100 m image of 27 September 2018 shows only snow on the highest mountain tops.