A mass of black flood water surrounded the winding curves of the Ural River on May 11, 2005. With its headwaters in the Ural Mountains, the river swells each spring with melting snow. These Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, collected on May 11, 2005, top, and April 23, 2005, bottom, contrast water levels on the river just after it crosses the border into Kazakhstan. In addition to filling the river, spring has turned the landscape from a winter brown to a brilliant green in the two and a half weeks that have passed between the two images. The images, shown in false color to highlight the presence of water, also exaggerate the springtime greening. Here, vegetation is bright green while bare earth is tan and pink. Water is dark blue and black.
The large images provided above are at MODIS maximum resolution of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides daily images of the region in additional resolutions.