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Morocco’s Anti-Atlas Mountains

The Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco formed as a result of the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates about 80 million years ago. This collision destroyed the Tethys Ocean; the limestone, sandstone, claystone, and gypsum layers that formed the ocean bed were folded and crumpled to create the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains. In this ASTER image, short wavelength infrared (SWIR) bands are combined to dramatically highlight the different rock types, and illustrate the complex folding. The yellowish, orange and green areas are limestones, sandstones and gypsum; the dark blue and green areas are underlying granitic rocks. The ability to map geology using ASTER data is enhanced by the multiple SWIR bands, that are sensitive to differences in rock mineralogy.

This image was acquired on June 13, 2001, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

Image Notes:
Size: 28.7 x 29.4 km (17.8 x 18.2 miles)
Location: 29.4 deg. North lat., 8.9 deg. West long.
Orientation: North at top
Image Data: ASTER bands 4, 6, and 8
Original Data Resolution: 30 meters
Date Acquired: June 13, 2001

Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team