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Where on Earth...? MISR Mystery Image Quiz #20
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
Here’s another chance to play geographical detective! This natural-color image from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) represents an area of about 380 kilometers x 574 kilometers, and was captured by the instrument’s vertical-viewing (nadir) camera in July, 2003. Use any reference materials you like to answer the following 5 questions.
Name the nation(s) that appear and any national capital cities included within the image area.
At the top of the image are several large lakes with extensive swamps and marshlands to the east and southeast. Three of the following four statements about the marshlands are true. Which one is false?
A large, solitary bird, whose name derives from its unusually-shaped bill and who is the only known species of its genus, is regularly sighted here in July.
The end of the wet season occurred less than a month prior to the acquisition of this image, and water levels in the marshes are still high.
At least two different kinds of semi-aquatic ruminants can be found in the swamps and marshlands of this region.
Industrial fishing is not allowed in any of the lakes or swamps.
In the center left-hand portion of the image is a large green-colored area, bordered by a big river on its northern flank. Three of the following four statements about this area are true. Which one is false?
Despite intensive copper mining activities to the south, this forested region does not sit atop a rich deposit of copper ore.
The pattern of bright green and tan situated below the green area indicates a region of many large-scale commercial farms.
One nation’s government is planning to construct a high grade road northwards across the area, although it is part of a different nation’s territory.
During the 1960s, political leaders of the area made an unsuccessful attempt to secede as an independent nation.
A steep escarpment traverses the right-hand portion of the image, and a fertile valley is found to its east. Three of the following four statements about this region are true. Which one is false?
This escarpment is part of a 6000 kilometer-long fault system.
The strange-looking tree, Adansonia digitata, is commonly found in some parts of this region.
The soils in the valley are relatively nutrient-rich because of their volcanic origin.
Both Ceratotherium simum and Loxodonta spp. can be found within these areas.
In the very bottom right of the image, at the junction of two rivers, is a large, pale green lake. Three of the following four statements about it are true. Which one is false?
Give or take a few meters, the average depth of the lake is about 25 meters.
Almost five thousand people living downstream from the lake lost their homes during the severe floods of 2001.
The “lake” was created by dam construction and is, in fact, a reservoir boasting the largest holding capacity of any on the continent.
A side effect of the dam is that the floodplain downstream no longer receives yearly inundation by floodwaters.
Answers will be published on the MISR home page. The names and home towns of respondents who answer all questions correctly by the deadline will also be published in the order responses were received. The first 3 people on this list who are not affiliated with NASA, JPL, or MISR and who have not previously won a prize will be sent a print of the image.
A new “Where on Earth...?” mystery appears as the MISR “latest featured image” approximately once every two months. New featured images are released on Wednesdays at noon Pacific time on the MISR home page. The image also appears on the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center home pages, though usually with a several-hour delay.
Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team. Text by Clare Averill (Raytheon/JPL).