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Central Canada
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Central Canada

October 2, 2011
The colors of fall decorated the landscape of central Canada on September 28, 2008 when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the region and captured this true-color image. From left to right, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario are the four provinces shown in the image.

On the edges of Hudson Bay, in the northeast of the image, the land appears light green, mottled with browns and tans. This is the area of tundra – a treeless expanse covered by grass, moss and shrubs. To the south, the forests are dark green. These are the boreal forests, where the needled coniferous species such as spruce and pine predominate, with some aspen (poplar) mixed in. Further south, the forests include more deciduous trees, such as aspen. The leaves of these deciduous trees develop color in the fall, and the patches of yellow-green seen in the southern boreal forest are likely the fall coloration of stands of deciduous trees. Near the border of the United States, the brown land reflects the natural senescence (aging and drying) of agricultural crops.

The milky green waters of Lake Winnipeg (right), Lake Winnipegosis (left) and Lake Manitoba (south of Winnipegosis) color the landscape. The colors are from sediment deposited into the waters from rivers feeding the lakes. Where the sediment is most concentrated, the water appears tan. As sediment disperses, the water appears shades of turquoise and green.

In the tan lands of southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, red hot spots mark active fires. A lingering haze across the southern region is additional evidence of the smoky wildfires which have plagued the region throughout the fall dry season.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC


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