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Bruneau River, Idaho

Bruneau River, Idaho

The Bruneau River runs through a narrow canyon cut into ancient lava flows in southwestern Idaho. The canyon—up to 4000 feet (1220 meters) deep and 40 miles (64 km) long— features rapids and hot springs, making it a popular whitewater trip.

This true-color image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite. The 10-meter-per-pixel resolution shows details like individual rapids at the bottom of the canyon. The ALI is similar to Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) and Terra's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) sensors in terms of the resolution of their data as well as their research applications. The three spacecraft fly in formation, allowing their sensors to complement each other.

The ALI collects data in nine wavelengths ranging from visible light to shortwave infrared at 30 meters per pixel, with an additional panchromatic band (which detects light across the visible spectrum) with a resolution of 10 meters per pixel. The ALI sensor is an experiment designed to test new technologies that will reduce the size and cost of future Earth science missions. In addition, scientists will use the data collected by the ALI to study the ways humans manage land resources as well as the changes across landscapes caused by urbanization, fire, and other processes.

Image by Robert Simmon, based on data provided by the EO-1 Science Team