View Full Version : MODIS: Southern Brazil

05-12-04, 05:48
Clear skies and warm weather have come to the Southern Hemisphere. In this true-color Terra MODIS image of southernmost Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul glows with rich shades of gold and green. To the northwest, in peninsular Argentina, the dense green vegetation marks one of the few remaining tracts of the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlantica) ecosystem. This image was acquired on December 3, 2004.

What once extended up and down the eastern coast of South America and inland for hundreds of miles today is confined to small stretches of land protected by the Brazilian and Argentinian governments. What was once the most biologically diverse ecosystem in South America - covering a greater range of individual ecosystem types than even the Amazon Rainforest - has been reduced to just seven percent of its former size, and continues to shrink as pressure to find agricultural land increases.

A few fires are scattered throughout the scene; they are marked in red, and are most likely agricultural in nature. Fire is one of the oldest tools used in agrarian pursuits, as it is useful in clearing land of old crops and converting forested land into arable fields. Many of the fires are located in the southwestern portion of the image, near Lagoa dos Patos (northern) and Lagoa Mirim (southern); these lakes are shallow tidal lagoons important to the local fishing industry. Lagoa Mirrim crosses Brazil's southern border into Uruguay.


Copyright 2004 NASA

Marcus T
05-12-04, 13:09
I feel like an eagle..