The Murray River Winds Through South Australia Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at the agricultural fields of the Murray River valley in South Australia.
The photo was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station.
In the center of the image sits the town of Renmark, one of the more populated areas along the Murray River.The Murray River rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia’s highest mountains, and then meanders northwestly across Australia’s inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows into South Australia. It turns south at Morgan for its final 315 km (196 mi), reaching the eastern edge of Lake Alexandrina, which fluctuates in salinity (and were often fresh until recent decades). The water of the Murray then flows through several channels around the Hindmarsh and Mundoo Island, joined by lagoon water from The Coorong from the southeast, before emptying into the Great Australian Bight (often referenced on Australian maps as the Southern Ocean) through the Murray Mouth 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Goolwa South. Despite discharging considerable volumes of water at times, particularly before the advent of large-scale river regulation, the Murray Mouth has always been comparatively small and shallow.
The river winds down from the top right of the image through the bottom left, providing nutrient-rich soil for numerous farm plots.
The region is known for its grapevines, almond groves, stone-fruit orchards (including peaches and apricots), and citrus orchards. In fact, more than 50% of Australia’s wine production comes from the Murray River area.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory