Sediment swirls along the coast of California • Earth.com

Sediment swirls along the coast of California

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features swirls of sediment off the coast of California after one of the wettest periods in the history of the Bay Area. The sediment can be seen along the Pacific coastline from Oxnard to Eureka.

“December 26, 2022, through January 16, 2023, was the wettest 22-day period in the San Francisco area since 1862, according to the National Weather Service. Virtually all of the state received rainfall totals of more than 350 percent above average in the first half of January 2023,” says NASA.

“Rain and snow from the recent atmospheric rivers contributed to a hefty snowpack in the Sierras and higher water levels in many of the state’s water reservoirs. However, not all of the water that fell stuck around. When soils become saturated, water can’t infiltrate below the surface and runs off into nearby waterways, sometimes taking soil with it.”

The image was captured on January 17, 2023 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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