Dust And Fires North Of The Caspian Sea. Streamers of dust blow across western Kazakhstan while fires burned in the Volga Delta in early October 2015. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on October 3 as it flew over the north of the Caspian Sea.
The climate of western Kazakhstan is hot and dry, and dust storms are common in the region. The Volga River is a rich source of water in the region, and attractive for agriculture, industry and recreation. Considering the time of year, location and number of fires, they are likely being used to manage land for agriculture. Each red hot spot marks an area where thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for actively burning fire. Dust And Fires North Of The Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin (a basin without outflows) located between Europe and Asia, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the broad steppe of Central Asia. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (excluding the detached lagoon of Garabogazköl) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi). It has a salinity of approximately 1.2% (12 g/l), about a third of the salinity of most seawater. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast. The Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species and may be best known for its caviar and oil industries. Pollution from the oil industry and dams on rivers draining into the Caspian Sea have had negative effects on the organisms living in the sea.