Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to
better experience this site.
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Along the southern coast of the Netherlands, sediment-laden rivers have created a
massive delta of islands and waterways in the gaps between the coastal dunes. After
unusually severe spring tides devasted this region in 1953, the Dutch built an
elaborate system of dykes, canals, dams, bridges, and locks to hold back the
This scene was acquired on May 24, 2002, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. This false-color composite was created by combining infrared,
near-infrared, and red (ASTER bands 3, 2, and 1) wavelengths. The darker the red shown here, the more densely vegetated the terrain. The light blue-green areas show bare land surface. The North Sea appears black in this scene and trends from dark blue to lighter blue as the seawater carries increasingly more sediment near the surface.
Image provided by the
USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems
Branch as part of the Earth as Art II image series