Description: Akpatok Island lies in Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Accessible only by air, Akpatok Island rises out of the water as sheer cliffs that soar 500 to 800 feet (150 to 243m) above the sea surface. The island is an important sanctuary for cliff-nesting seabirds. Numerous ice floes around the island attract walrus and whales, making Akpatok a traditional hunting ground for native Inuit people.
Description: These cloud formations were seen over the western Aleutian Islands. Their color variations are probably due to differences in temperature and in the size of water droplets that make up the clouds.
Description: These are the Anti-Atlas Mountains, part of the Atlas Mountain range in southern Morocco, Africa. The region contains some of the world's largest and most diverse mineral resources, most of which are still untouched.
Description: Once a vast carpet of healthy vegetation, the Amazon rain forest is changing rapidly. This image of Bolivia shows dramatic deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Loggers have cut long paths into the forest, while ranchers have cleared large blocks for their herds. Fanning out from these clear-cut areas are settlements built in radial arrangements of fields and farms. Healthy vegetation appears bright red in this image.
Description: These Karman vortices formed over the islands of Broutona, Chirpoy, and Brat Chirpoyev (Chirpoy’s Brother), all part of the Kuril Island chain found between Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan.
Description: On the border between Chile and the Catamarca province of Argentina lies a vast field of currently dormant volcanoes. Over time, these volcanoes have laid down a crust of magma roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) thick. It is tinged with a patina of various colors that can indicate both the age and mineral content of the original lava flows.
Description: The Dasht-e Kevir, or Great Salt Desert, is the largest desert in Iran. It is a primarily uninhabited wasteland, composed of mud and salt marshes covered with crusts of salt that protect the meager moisture from completely evaporating.
Description: Nicknamed "Dragon Lake," this body of water is formed by the Bratskove Reservoir, built along the Angara River in southern Siberia, near the city of Bratsk. This image was acquired in winter, when the lake is frozen.
Description: Spanning the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula and most of Florida Bay, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America. It is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side.
Description: The Ganges River forms an extensive delta where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. The delta is largely covered with a swamp forest known as the Sunderbans, which is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Description: Center pivot irrigation systems created these circular patterns in crop land near Garden City, Kansas. The red circles indicate irrigated crops of healthy vegetation. The light-colored circles represent harvested crops.
Description: In a small corner of the vast Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia, large sand dunes—the only sand in this desert of scrub and rock—appear as lines stretching from left to right. The light-colored fan shapes are scars from wildfires.
Description: Guinea-Bissau is a small country in West Africa. Complex patterns can be seen in the shallow waters along its coastline, where silt carried by the Geba and other rivers washes out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Description: In an area north of the city of Al-Basrah, Iraq, which borders Iran, a former wetland has been drained and walled off. Now littered with minefields and gun emplacements, it is a staging area for military exercises.
Description: Each of these swirling clouds is a result of a meteorological phenomenon known as a Karman vortex. These vortices appeared over Alexander Selkirk Island in the southern Pacific Ocean. Rising precipitously from the surrounding waters, the island's highest point is nearly a mile (1.6 km) above sea level. As wind-driven clouds encounter this obstacle, they flow around it to form these large, spinning eddies.
Description: Portions of Kenya and Tanzania, Africa can be seen in this image. The peak of Kilimanjaro is on the right; the mountain is flanked by the plains of Amboseli National Park to the north and the rugged Arusha National Park to the south and west.
Description: The Lambert Glacier in Antarctica is the world's largest glacier. The focal point of this image is an icefall that feeds into the glacier from the vast ice sheet covering the polar plateau. Ice flows like water, albeit much more slowly. Cracks can be seen in this icefall as it bends and twists on its slow-motion descent 1300 feet (400 meters) to the glacier below.
Description: The Lena River, some 2,800 miles(4,500km) long, is one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife.
Description: Namaqualand in South Africa is known as the "gem of the Northern Cape." Portions of this area were turned into a national park in 1999, to preserve the abundant wildlife and brilliant wildflowers native to the area.
Description: Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in Namibia's vast Namib Desert. Coastal winds create the tallest sand dunes in the world here, with some dunes reaching 980 feet (300 meters) in height.
Description: The Parana River delta is a huge forested marshland about 32km northeast of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The area is a very popular tour destination. Guided boat tours can be taken into this vast labyrinth of marsh and trees. The Parana River delta is one of the world's greatest bird-watching destinations. This image highlights the striking contrast between dense forest and wetland marshes, and the deep blue ribbon of the Parana River.
Description: The so-called Richat Structure is a geological formation in the Maur Adrar Desert in the African country of Mauritania. Although it resembles an impact crater, the Richat Structure formed when a volcanic dome hardened and gradually eroded, exposing the onion-like layers of rock.
Description: On the edge of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, sand dunes are encroaching onto once-fertile lands in the north. Healthy vegetation appears red in this image; in the center, notice the lone red dot. It is the result of a center-pivot irrigation system, evidence that at least one optimistic farmer continues to work the fields despite the approaching sand.
Description: Where the Volga River flows into the Caspian Sea, it creates an extensive delta. The Volga Delta is comprised of more than 500 channels, and sustains the most productive fishing grounds in Eurasia.
Description: The West Fjords are a series of peninsulas in northwestern Iceland. They represent less than one-eighth the country's land area, but their jagged perimeter accounts for more than half of Iceland's total coastline.
Description: Extensive wetlands lie near the town of Yellowknife, near the Great Slave Lake in Northwest Territories, Canada. The shallow lakes seen in this image have formed in grooves in the landscape that were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age.