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Fires Near the Aral Sea
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Fires Near the Aral Sea

March 29, 2008

This image, captured by the MODIS on the Aqua satellite on March 25, 2008, shows the Aral Sea, located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1970s when the two main rivers that feed it - the Amudar'ya and the Syrdar'ya - were diverted to support agricultural endeavors - mainly rice and cotton. The Vozrozhdeniye peninsula in the middle of the Sea was once an island separated from the mainland by a narrow strip of water.

The larger, eastern, portion of the Sea appears a cloudy beige-green because of sunlight reflecting off of silt and other particles in the shallow waters. There are many fires located in groupings around the lake. Each red dot represents an active fire.