Bombetoka Bay, Madagascar, from space, c 2005.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
On the northwestern coast of Madagascar, the salty waters of the Mozambique Channel penetrate inland to join with the freshwater outflow of the Betsiboka River, forming Bombetoka Bay. Numerous islands and sandbars have formed in the estuary from the large amount of sediment carried in by the Betsiboka River and have been shaped by the flow of the river and the push and pull of tides. This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite shows Bombetoka Bay just upstream of where it opens up into the Mozambique Channel, which separates Madagascar from Africa to the west. In the image, water is sapphire and tinged with pink where sediment is particularly thick. Dense vegetation is deep green.