Fall colors emerge on Kodiak Island • Earth.com

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features fall colors emerging across Kodiak Island, located off the southern coast of Alaska.

“As summer turns to fall in Alaska, days of abundant sunlight give way to rapidly encroaching darkness. Bears plump up for hibernation, while tundra plants harden themselves for the long, cold winter,” said NASA.

“The island’s terrain ranges from rugged coastline to spruce forest to snowy peaks. However, the southwestern part of Kodiak along the Shelikof Strait, shown here, is colder and drier than the maritime eastern side, and a tundra ecosystem predominates.”

“The vegetation on this part of Kodiak Island includes sedges, mosses, heaths, and grasses. Trees are generally absent, save for the occasional Sitka spruce. Moist peatlands fill in the bottoms of the valleys.”

Kodiak Island is the second largest island in the United States, after the Big Island of Hawaii. The island is renowned for its diverse wildlife. It’s particularly famous for the Kodiak brown bear, one of the largest bear subspecies.

Kodiak Island is also a major hub for commercial fishing in Alaska, especially for salmon and crab.

About two-thirds of the island belongs to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1941 to protect the Kodiak bear and its habitat.

The island has a rich indigenous history and is home to the Alutiiq people, who have lived here for thousands of years.

The image was captured on October 3,2023 by the OLI-2 (Operational Land Imager-2) on Landsat 9.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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