Satellite Image, Photo of Bolivia

Normally obscured by clouds, Bolivia is amazingly clear in this true-color MODIS image acquired June 20, 2002. Bounded by Brazil to the north and west, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, and Peru and Chile to the east, Bolivia is completely landlocked. A good portion of Bolivia is dominated by the Andes, but it also lays claim to lush forests and pasture lands in the Amazon Basin.Bolivia's agricultural crops include soybeans, coffee, coca, cotton, corn, sugarcane, rice, potatoes, and timber. A number of agricultural plots are visible in central Bolivia. Some large plots are arranged in a circular star shape, with water sources at the center and the agricultural plots radiating outwards. Adjacent to them (down and to the right) are more traditional shaped plots (more rectangular).One of Bolivia's main exports is tropical timber. Visible in this image are areas where the timber has been harvested. The deforestation patterns tend to follow major roads first, then smaller roads adjoining main roads..
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Satellite Image, Photo of Lake Poopo, Bolivia

Lake Poopó, Bolivia September 1994. An almost dried-up Lake Poopó (also called Lake Aullagas) is visible in this low-oblique, west-looking photograph. Lake waters have been receding since 1990 (refer to STS-048-072-049, September 1991), and the inflow of the Desaguadero River at the lake's north end (brown) has slowed to a trickle. At the south end of the lake is a small river that drains Lake Poopó and follows a westward course until it finally drains into Salar de Coipasa (not visible in the photograph). Without years of near-normal or above-normal precipitation in the region, the lake will continue to dry because of evaporation resulting from intense sunshine and strong winds. A small light blue lake is visible east of Lake Poopó near the town of Challapata (grayish smudge at the base of the mountains south of the small lake). With the carrying capacity of Lake Poopó becoming inadequate, migratory wading birds from North America will need to find other area lakes for their wintering grounds..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Uyuni Salar (Salt Flat), Lake Poopo, Bolivia

Lake Poopo, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia September 1996. Numerous bright salars or salt flats are visible in this westerly view of the southwestern part of the Altiplano in Bolivia. Many volcanic cones (darker, roughly circular features) are visible, mainly along the western flanks of the two large salars, Uyuni (largest) and Coipasa. Lake Poopo, a light colored feature northeast of the two large salars, appears to be relatively devoid of standing water at the time this image was obtained. Some clouds partially obscure the southern end of intermittently water filled Lake Poopo. The Andes Mountains dramatically decrease in elevation in a relatively short horizontal distance along the western slopes of the mountains. Known as the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, this synoptic view shows a large section of one of the most arid regions on earth..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia and Peru

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia and Peru May 1985. Lake Titicaca, cupped in a depression in the Altiplano (high plains) between the eastern (cloud-covered) and western (not visible) ranges of the Andes Mountains, can be seen in this low-oblique, southwest-looking view. Covering an area of 3200 square miles (8290 square kilometers), Lake Titicaca is the largest freshwater lake in South America and, at 12 500 feet (3815 meters) above sea level, the world’s highest navigable lake. The lake is nearly 120 miles (190 kilometers) long, averages 45 miles (72 kilometers) in width, and has an average depth of nearly 900 feet (275 meters). The two basins of the lake are connected by the Strait of Tiquina. Fed by rainfall and meltwater from glaciers on the high peaks that border the Altiplano, Lake Titicaca is drained by the Desaguadero River, which flows south from the lake into Lake Poopó (not visible on the photograph). Traces of former shorelines ringing its basin reveal that Lake Titicaca was even larger in the past. At the end of the Ice Age, approximately 12 000 years ago, torrents of meltwater from the huge ice cap that once blanketed the Andes Mountains poured into a virtual inland sea known as Lake Ballivian. Its shoreline was about 150 feet (45 meters) above the present level of Lake Titicaca. Even today, the water level varies as much as 16 feet (5 meters) from season to season and year to year. Much of the present lake water is lost through evaporation caused by intense sunshine and strong winds. Numerous Indian villages, once the center of Inca Indian life, now crowd the lake shoreline. The constant temperature of the lake at 51 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) modifies the climate and makes growing maize and wheat possible at such a high altitude..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Rio Grande, Bolivia

Rio Grande, Bolivia September 1985 This near-vertical photograph of a rural landscape near Bolivia’s second largest city of Santa Cruz is viewed through a hazy atmosphere. Santa Cruz, with a population of more than 500 000, is barely visible on the east side of the Rio Piray (near the northwestern corner of the photograph). To the west, the rugged foothills of the Andes Mountains begin their dramatic rise in elevation (not shown in this photograph). Southeast-trending patterns of sand and soil that have blown from the much larger, north-flowing Rio Grande are discernible on the eastern edge of the photograph. East of the Rio Grande an extensive area of undeveloped swamp and scrub woodlands extends to the Paraguay border; however, the lowland plain of east-central Bolivia shows extensive cultivated field patterns (center of the photograph) that probably provide commercial agricultural products. The very narrow, north-south-oriented features are railroads, pipelines, and highways that connect this region with the southern frontier of Bolivia. The northwest-southeast alignment of the highly reflective surfaces south and west of Santa Cruz are nonvegetated sand dunes that probably formed during an arid period..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Rio Grande, Bolivia

Rio Grande, Bolivia February 1984. The Rio Grande of Bolivia gradually arcs northeast as it exits the foothills of the eastern flank of the Andes Mountains. The segment of the Rio Grande shown in this near-vertical photograph is approximately 60 miles (95 kilometers) due south of Santa Cruz in the Bolivian lowlands. The tan water indicates that the river is transporting a large quantity of sediment. A somewhat unusual feature is the smaller tributary that flows for approximately 35 miles (55 kilometers), enters the Rio Grande, and creates its own delta within the much larger river. The source of the silt that is transported by the shorter tributary is unknown. The north-south lines on either side of the Rio Grande are railroad and pipeline rights-of-way on the west and a pipeline right-of-way on the east. Dense vegetation covers most of the area except for some cultivated fields in the northern half of the photograph..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Lake Coipasa (Salt Flat), Bolivia

Salar de Coipasa, Bolivia November 1984. Coipasa Volcano is located near the center of the image within Salar de Coipasa on the Altiplano (high plain) in southwestern Bolivia. In this 1984 image, standing water or brime is visible within Salar de Coipasa. Water is coming into the salar from the Laca Jahuira River, which is discernible at the bottom center of the image. The rainy season, normally from mid-November through March, can produce standing water in the salar up to 12 inches (30 cm) deep. The water is soon evaporated during the dry season. The dormant Coipasa Volcano is 16149 feet (4925 meters) high and stands nearly 4165 feet (1260 meters) above the salar floor. Other dormant and extinct volcanoes are visible in the Carabaya Mountains located northwest (right) of Salar de Coipasa. A structural depression, the salar was once part of a large glacier-fed lake named Minchin. The lake began to disappear about 15000 years ago and had disappeared completely about 10000 years ago, except for water remaining in depressions like Coipasa. (Also see image STS084-708-038 obtained in May 1997)..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Mamore River, Bolivia

The Mamore River drains north from the Andes Mts. in lowland Bolivia. An image taken in July 2003 from the International Space Station (ISS007-E-10797, 14 June 2003, 12:36 GMT) shows an 85 km stretch of the river south of the lowland town of Trinidad in the Beni Province. A 55-km stretch (centered at 15.2°S 66°W) was rectified to the commercially available 1990 edition of the Landsat TM imagery of the world. Numerous changes in river pattern are visible in the decade since the Landsat imagery was acquired. A pilot study was undertaken to characterize these rapid changes. Tie points were selected for geomorphic features which do not undergo short-term change- i. e. oxbow lakes and subsidence lakes in the floodplain. The ISS image was enhanced slightly to reveal the Mamore River channel. The ISS image (top) shows Mamore River meandering in a floodplain with numerous contorted channel traces indicating former positions of the river. The darker areas are riverine forest, the lighter areas tropical savanna. The river trace as it was in 1990 (bottom) is superimposed on the 2003 handheld image. Interpretation 1. Meander cutoffs: In two locations, the Mamore has straightened its course by meander cutoff (c-upper image). The opposite trend appears to the north (right) where the course has become more sinuous. 2. Some structural control, possibly by buried faults, appears to have maintained the position and straightness of the E-W stretch (EW). 3. An old course has controlled the position of a sector of the new course: the radius of curvature of the northernmost meander is sharper than most bends because the new course has occupied a prior course (a-far right, upper image). 4. Ten-fifteen years of river movement has had wider impacts on the valley floor: * two new lakes been formed where the large meanders have been cut off (n) * several lakes have decreased in size, especially two elongated lakes that have been reduced in length by more than 50% (s) * lakes have been destroyed entirely (x-lower figure) * many lakes are further from the main river and many closer: this nearness factor determines whether or not lakes receive nutrient rich inflow from the main river during floods. It is possible that these kinds of disturbances-the creation and destruction of habitat-may be a major cause of biodiversity generation in equatorial rainforests..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Central Andes Mountains, South America

Central Andes Mountains, South America June 1993. This small-scale photograph provides an opportunity to see a large geographic region of the central Andes Mountains of South America. The light tans and browns of the west coasts of northern Chile and Peru indicate an arid climate along the western foothills of the Andes Mountains. Clearly visible in this photograph is a large part of the northern Atacama Desert, one of the driest deserts on Earth, with its deeply eroded, short, well-entrenched streams. Even the very deep canyons in the coastal mountains of Peru can be seen. Eastward from this arid, rather narrow, west coastal zone lie the volcanic peaks and rugged mountains of the Cordillera Occidental. Many of the volcanic peaks in this mountainous zone exceed 19 000 feet (5800 meters). Immediately east of the volcanic zone, the elevated, rolling plateau known as the Altiplano is apparent. This plateau, which averages 12 000 feet (3600 meters) above sea level, stretches for approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) north-south, mostly in Bolivia, between the western and eastern cordilleras (mountain ranges). Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable body of water (large lake to the north), is generally acknowledged as the northern limit of the Altiplano. The southern boundary (not shown in this photograph) is less well-defined, but it is generally accepted that the Altiplano ends south of an area with numerous salars (dry lakes). Smaller, greenish Lake Poopó was formed by interior drainage. Water levels fluctuate widely in this shallow, salty lake. The large, whitish features are salars; the smaller dry lake to the north is Salar de Coipasa, and the larger one is Salar de Uyuni. These salars are excellent landmarks for orbiting astronauts. Although difficult to discern at this scale, the capital city of La Paz, Bolivia, (1 million population) is located on the Altiplano southeast of Lake Titicaca. The parallel, mountainous ridges of the Cordillera Oriental border the Altiplano to the east. This is very rugged, mountainous terrain with many deeply incised streams creating severe canyons and valleys. Many of the ridges and peaks throughout this area exceed 16 000 feet (4900 meters) in elevation. The pronounced drainage pattern southeast of Lake Titicaca results from the headwaters of the Rio Beni eroding a dendritic stream pattern in this section of the Altiplano. The Rio Madeira, which receives the waters of the Rio Beni, eventually flows into the Amazon, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the elevation drop in the southwestern Amazon Basin, clouds have formed along the mountainous boundary, providing a significant clue to the impact the high Andes Mountains have on the climate of South America..
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Satellite Image, Photo of Altiplano, Southwest Bolivia

Altiplano, Southwest Bolivia October 1985. Part of the high plateau known as the Altiplano in southwestern Bolivia, with average elevations exceeding 12 000 feet (3660 meters), is captured in this near-vertical photograph. The Altiplano is a sediment-filled depression that is bounded by the volcanic peaks of the Cordillera Occidental to the west and the folded mountain ranges of the Cordillera Oriental to the east. Numerous volcanoes, some with peaks exceeding 16 000 feet (4875 meters), are visible along the western edge of the photograph. The two large, highly reflective features are dry lake beds (salars) where salt has been deposited on the ground. The smaller, northernmost salt marsh is the Salar de Coipasa, and the larger, highly reflective surface is the Salar de Uyuni. Lake Poopó, the shallow lake whose depth never exceeds 15 feet (4.5 meters), displays a sediment plume dispersed throughout the lake. Although Lake Poopó receives some water from drainage along its southern end, the major water supply flows into the northern end of the lake via the intermittently flowing Desaguadero River, which connects Lake Titicaca with Lake Poopó. (Refer to STS-032-088-069, STS-073-735-047, STS-048-072-049, and STS-064-091-022 for additional information on Lake Poopó.).
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA