January 15, 2012 Flooding in Northwestern Australia
January 6, 2012 Flooding in Northwestern Australia
acquired January 15, 2012 download large image (9 MB, JPEG, 6400x6400 - left)
acquired January 6, 2012 download large image (10 MB, JPEG, 6400x6400 - right)
Flooding in Northwestern Australia
acquired January 15, 2012 download large image (9 MB, JPEG, 6400x6400)
Flooding in Northwestern Australia
acquired January 6, 2012 download large image (10 MB, JPEG, 6400x6400)

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, between the Hamersley and Chichester Ranges, lies an impermanent river. It is part of the catchment of the Fortescue River, which flows toward the Indian Ocean. In January 2012, heavy rains from Tropical Cyclone Heidi filled the normally dry riverbed near the towns of Wittenoom and Marillana.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images on January 15, 2012 (top), and January 6, 2012 (bottom). Both images use a combination of visible and infrared light to better distinguish between water and land. Water ranges in color from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Bare ground is earth-toned. Clouds are pale blue-green.

Separated by just nine days, these images show significant changes. The same river valley that is nearly dry on January 6 is filled with water on January 15. Besides watering ephemeral rivers, the storm hampered iron-ore production in Pilbara, according to news reports.

  1. References

  2. Greber, J. (2012, January 16). Fortescue resumes mining after floods trigger halt. Bloomberg Businessweek. Accessed January 17, 2012.

NASA images courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.

Instrument(s): 
Terra - MODIS

Flooding in Northwestern Australia

Share
Image Location
Image Location
No other images in this Event
Return to Natural Hazards