Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to
better experience this site.
The Coast of Oman
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
This perspective view includes the city of Salalah, the second largest
city in Oman. The city is located on the broad, generally bright coastal
plain and includes areas of green irrigated crops. This view was
generated from a Landsat image draped over a preliminary elevation model
produced by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The edges of
the dataset are to the upper right, left, and lower left. The Arabian
Sea (lower right) is represented by the blue false-colored area.
Vertical exaggeration of topography is 3X.
This scene illustrates how topography determines local climate and, in
turn, where people live. The Arabian Peninsula is very arid. However,
the steep escarpment of the Qara Mountains wrings moisture from the
summer monsoons allowing for growth of natural vegetation (green along
the mountain fronts and in the canyons), and soil development (dark
brown areas), as well as cultural development of the coastal plain. The
monsoons also provide moisture for Frankincense trees growing on the
desert (north) side of the mountains. In ancient times, incense derived
from the sap of the Frankincense tree was the basis for an extremely
Landsat satellites have provided visible light and infrared images of
the Earth continuously since 1972. SRTM topographic data match the
30-meter (99-foot) spatial resolution of most Landsat images and provide
a valuable complement for studying the historic and growing Landsat data
archive. The Landsat 7 Thematic Mapper image used here was provided to
the SRTM project by the United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources
Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Elevation data used in this image was acquired by SRTM aboard the Space
Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. SRTM used the same
radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space
Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect
three-dimensional measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the
3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, installed
additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and
navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National
Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense
(DoD), and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Earth Science
Enterprise, Washington, DC.
Size: 45 kilometers (28 miles) across x 178 kilometers (110 miles) distance
Location: 17 deg. North lat., 54 deg. East lon.
Orientation: North toward upper left
Image Data: Landsat bands 1, 2+4, 3 in blue, green, red
Date Acquired: February 15, 2000 (SRTM), November 9, 1999 (Landsat)