Floodwaters traveled southward in Australia’s Channel Country in late March 2010. Earlier in the month, flooding forced authorities to declare most of Queensland a natural disaster area and caused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. By the end of the month, floodwaters filled channels in the south while receding from some areas to the north.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images of southwestern Queensland on March 26, 2010 (top), and March 14, 2010 (bottom). Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Vegetation, even sparse vegetation, appears bright green. Clouds appear sky blue. Water varies in color from electric blue to navy. Bare ground appears pinkish tan.
The largest water body in these images straddles the border between Queensland and South Australia. In the image from mid-March, most of the water in that water body is in Queensland. By late March, floodwaters have receded in Queensland and are replaced by vegetated ground. Meanwhile, new floodwaters fill a patchwork of depressions in South Australia. Similar movement of water occurs to the east, around the towns of Bulloo Downs and Dirranbandi.