The Lower Mississippi River

The Lower Mississippi River alluvial valley and the adjacent upland are distinct and highly diverse landscapes. The floodplain, by the very geologic processes that created it, has rich organic soils with a mix of cropland, forests, and forested wetlands. The agricultural diversity is high, ranging from rice and catfish to corn and soybeans. The uplands are mostly small-scale farmland, with hardwood forest or a mixed forest of hardwood and pine. 

In this stunning Landsat 7 image of the Lower Mississippi on February 16, 2013, forests in the uplands are green (pine forests a slightly darker shade). Bare soil or soil with light vegetation cover appear in shades of pink and purple, and the bright lime green fields are areas with newly emergent crops or vegetation. 

The Landsat mission is a global mission that captures images around the globe, every day of the year. While this image may be useful for a number of practical management uses, such as monitoring agriculture or evaluating long-term effects of drought, some images are particularly striking for their beauty.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013