Throughout history, patterns of settlement have followed roads, rivers,
and other lines of transportation. The frontiers of the 21st century
are no exception. This high-resolution image of Amazonia shows farms cleared
from the jungle spreading out on either side of a narrow dirt road. Above and
to the right of the river that bisects the image is almost unbroken forest. The
river, a tributary of the Amazon, is colored brown by the large amount of
sediment it carries, possibly the result of deforestation upstream.
The image was acquired for the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere
Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) by the IKONOS satellite, which is owned and
operated by Space Imaging Corporation. Centered near 10° south, 62° West,
the image has a resolution of about 8 meters per pixel, reduced from IKONOS
4-meter maximum color resolution. The LBA
is an intensive field campaign in which scientists are studying the environment of Amazonia,
the role of Amazonia in global climate, and the effects of human-caused
change in the region.