The Brahmaputra river in northern India • Earth.com

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Brahmaputra, also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo, in northern India. The photo was captured by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station.

“The mighty river appears as two major channels; several small islands sit within them and a large island separates them. Together they form a Brahmaputra floodplain that measures fully 10 kilometers (6 miles) in width. The channels appear brighter than those of the other rivers in this photo because they are near the Sun’s glint point,” reports NASA.

The Dibang and Lohit Rivers flow nearby and join the Brahmaputra, which merges with the Ganges River in Bangladesh and ultimately dumps into the Bay of Bengal. 

“South Asia’s monsoon rainfall regime brings heavy rain to this part of India from March through June, feeding the river and floodplain. Tropical forest is the natural vegetation of this landscape,” says NASA.

“Human-built features seem minuscule here compared to the river channels. Most of the area includes land under cultivation, which appears as numerous small and irregular plots. Farms along the riverbanks are especially prone to damage and destruction by floods and by the persistent erosion of the banks.”

On the other hand, there are no agricultural plots in the Brahmaputra floodplain, as this is a protected natural area within the Daying Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and Earth.com.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day