Earth Matters

August Puzzler

August 19th, 2013 by Adam Voiland


Each month, Earth Observatory offers up a puzzling satellite image here on Earth Matters. The nineteenth puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what part of the world we are looking at, when the image was acquired, and why the scene is interesting.

How to answer. Your answer can be a few words or several paragraphs. (Try to keep it shorter than 300 words). You might simply tell us what part of the world an image shows. Or you can dig deeper and explain what satellite and instrument produced the image, what spectral bands were used to create it, or what is compelling about some obscure speck in the far corner of an image. If you think something is interesting or noteworthy, tell us about it.

The prize. We can’t offer prize money for being the first to respond or for digging up the most interesting kernels of information. But, we can promise you credit and glory (well, maybe just credit). Roughly one week after a puzzler image appears on this blog, we will post an annotated and captioned version as our Image of the Day. In the credits, we’ll acknowledge the person who was first to correctly ID the image. We’ll also recognize people who offer the most interesting tidbits of information. Please include your preferred name or alias with your comment. If you work for an institution that you want us to recognize, please mention that as well.

Recent winners. If you’ve won the puzzler in the last few months, please sit on your hands for at least a few days to give others a chance to play.

38 Responses to “August Puzzler”

  1. Dee says:

    Possibly two Aleutian Islands. But I’m guessing.

  2. Dee says:

    Actually, I’m wrong. Too many trees!

  3. Dee says:

    With the lakes and trees and flatness looks like Newfoundland but I can’t find islands of that shape nearby.

  4. Shawn O says:

    Not sure of the geographic locale, but the aspects of the image that seem interesting to me are the geomorphic processes implied. Those islands appear to be sand islands; the orientations of the submerged light-coloured streaks and the terrestrial ‘blow-outs’ imply strong and uni-directional winds from the bottom right of the image (SE??) to the top left (NW??); also, if this inference is correct, those light coloured-streaks that are now submerged are dunes that formed in a subaerial context, but that are now submerged, so this image represents a physical story of rising water levels (ocean? lake? not sure).

  5. Shawn O says:

    …and, carrying on with that imagined story, the small lakes on the island could be the result of rising groundwater tables as the water level of the surrounding waterbody has risen, combined with surficial erosion from the strong winds.

  6. Sol says:

    One of the Caribbean islands.. Judging the water, trees and sand.

  7. Keith says:

    Tropics? Because it looks like coral on the top under the water. The scene was taken during the day, maybe at high tide??? The scene is interesting because of the parallel lines in the sand under the water. I’m guessing because the lines occur between the islands they are caused by wind from a bigger sand dune rather than by current.

  8. CEM says:

    Lake Michigan. Garden and Hog Islands.

  9. CEM says:

    Clues: glaciation signs in the landscape but vegetation point to not too far north. Water around the islands, not really deep and too “light” to be the ocean.

  10. Mark says:

    Island off the coast of Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico showing Cenote’s (spelling?).

  11. laura says:

    On a blackberry its not easy to see but would these islands have had volcanic activity in the past I wonder. I’m thinking the island on the left is the higher and I’m thinking the lakes may actually sit in the crater of the volcano. As the two islands sit close together I’m think either the Galapogos Islands although perhaps slightly unlikely due to their size but it may explain the coastal areas as they slowly sink back into the Ocean. There or what is left of Krakato. That’s my guesses while I sit on couch watching tv. Good luck everyone!

  12. Corby Waste says:

    It looks like one of the Turks and Caicos
    or Bahamas chain of islands.

  13. Adam says:

    West & East Amatuli Islands near the Gulf of Alaska

  14. CharlesR says:

    Great Barrier Reef, Australia. the varying water depths are well illustrated. the larger islands support trees and other vegetation.

  15. Chris Wipper says:

    Garden Island and Hog Island, Michigan, just northeast of Beaver Island, Michigan.

  16. Michael Carlucci says:

    They are two islands located within northern Lake Michigan. Left: “Garden Island.” Right: “Hog Island.”

  17. Bruce says:

    at first i was thinking hawaii . but it wasn’t adding up the color of the water the large mass just off frame. im going to go with the philippines?

  18. ABC says:

    The process going on resembles pictures I have seen of sand being blown off of Africa.

  19. Brett Watson says:

    Garden and hog island

  20. Jaimen Waha says:

    Garden and Hog Islands, northern Lake Michigan. Both islands are just north of “America’s Emerald Isle” Beaver Island. You can kayak from Beaver to explore the uninhabited islands; I advise checking out the Odawa burial huts on Garden Island. Great for fishing and swimming too.

  21. Bib says:

    It appears to be a fish (left island) & a parrots head (right island).

  22. Amanda says:

    Definitely the Garden and Hog Islands on Lake Michigan. This was image was probably acquired in the spring after fertilizer had been spread. It’s interesting because, and this is just a guess, of the algae blooms.

  23. George Myers says:

    I thought it first from glaciation, then the Sahara, perhaps islands off Africa, the sand travels east to west and some collected in Florida, USA! Then I thought its the submerged dunes that characterize it. It’s Garden Island and Hog Island in Lake Michigan, just north of Beaver Island, Charlesvoix. The ponds might be “kettle holes” left by blocks as I grew up seeing on Long Island, NY, Lake Ronkonkoma there thought to be a result.

  24. Mike. Manchester.England says:

    Garden & Hog islands, Lake Michigan.

  25. RS 1972 says:

    Tuvalu. Salt likes are possible.

  26. shubham says:

    it is island which is going into water slowly.

  27. devendra pal singh says:

    i can see one marine under water ………
    the most green zone on earth …………i think u are calculating
    global warming effect….

  28. Krystel says:

    im so confused because i don’t know if it is either mountains, or the ocean or a lake !

  29. Redopz says:

    Would that be Lake Michigan? After looking at a map I think the islands are Garden on the left and Hog Island on the right.

  30. Joaquin Nina Rodriguez says:

    Garden and Hog Islands at Lake Michigan. The picture was probably taken recently. Judging by the great image details and underwater features, it’s some kind of HR infrared image combined at the same time with other visible light ones, and then color adjusted in a computer. Something similar to the technology used by HUBBLE and the other new IR telescopes. The information acquired can give scientists and geologists more clues about the true formation of Lake Michigan and its Islands, specially these two. Glacier or asteroid origin? Both? The underwater parallel structures shown herein, are in my opinion very relevant.

  31. Imran Inamdai says:

    Its India and Pakistan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. CharlesR says:

    Looks like the Wolverines got this one – I’m in Texas, never thought about Lake Michigan 🙂

  33. bella says:

    realmente interesante
    i like it