Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Gulf of Khambhat on the west coast of India. Heavy sediment loads are carried to the gulf through several major river systems, including the Narmada, Tapi, Mahi, Sabarmati, and Shetrunji.
The Gulf of Khambhat is historically known as the Gulf of Cambay. According to NASA, the gulf measures 50 miles wide at its mouth in the Arabian Sea but narrows to about 15 miles at its head, where the deltas of the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers meet.
When the photo was captured in the month of October, heavy sediment loads are visible in the water. This heavy discharge is associated with the monsoon season, which extends from June to September.
NASA reports that the Gujarat coast experiences the highest tides anywhere along the Indian coastline, and the funnel shape of the 90-mile long Gulf of Khambhat amplifies these tides.
The strong tides dominate currents in the gulf, which flow up to 4.5 miles per hour. The water is less than 65 feet deep in most parts, and receding tides expose intertidal areas of up to three miles wide.
The image was captured on October 16, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory