Residents of Rockhampton, Queensland, braced for possible flooding in early December 2010 as heavy rains led to rising water levels on the Fitzroy River. Tributaries feeding the Fitzroy include seasonal rivers, and changes in some of those tributaries were apparent between early November and early December 2010.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these false-color images on December 6, 2010 (top), and November 6, 2010 (bottom). Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Clouds range from off-white to bright blue-green. Vegetation is bright green. Bare ground appears in shades of brick red and pinkish brown.
In early December 2010, water fills what had been dry river channels a month earlier. The freshly filled riverbeds appear northwest of the city of Rockhampton, and run roughly northwest-southeast. Although partially hidden by clouds, higher water levels are also visible around the city of Emerald. Flooding in December 2010 had the potential to match flooding experienced in 2008, according to local news reports.
- ABC Australia. (2010, December 6). Deluge continues in southern, central Qld. Accessed December 6, 2010.
- Australian Natural Resources Atlas. (2009, June 15). Water resources – allocation and use – Queensland. Australian Government. Accessed December 6, 2010.
- Cite>The Morning Bulletin. (2010, December 3). Flood warning for Fitzroy River. Accessed December 6, 2010.
NASA images courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.
- Terra - MODIS