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Bangladesh
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Bangladesh

November 12, 2011
From the bright snow clinging to the summit of the Himalayas to the smoke and sediment clouding the Bay of Bengal, a sunny day in early November reveals the stunning landscape of Bangladesh and the surrounding region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on November 9, 2011.

Bangladesh, located in the center of the image, is primarily a broad deltaic plain formed by the confluence of the Ganges (west), Jamuna (northeast) and Meghna (east) Rivers and their tributaries. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and a megacity with a population of more than 15 million, can be seen as a large gray smudge north of the Meghna River.

Roughly 80 percent of the country’s 144,000 square kilometer area is fertile alluvial lowland called the Bangladesh Plain. The northern highlands reach 105 meters, and the Chittagong hills, in the southeast, rise steeply as high as 900 meters. Most of the lowland, however rises less than 10 meters and in the coastal south most land lies at or very near sea level. Flooding is common throughout Bangladesh, particularly along the coastal plains.

The Bay of Bengal is colored tan and turquoise from sediment deposited by the many rivers that flow into the northern Bay. Further south and west, smoke and haze hang over the Bay of Bengal, and across India. Haze is common in this region, and develops as a result of pollution from cars, industry and smoke from agricultural fires. At this time of year, agricultural fires are common in northwestern India and may be the source of much of this smoke.

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