Minimize Ice scours the North Caspian Sea

Landsat 8 acquired these natural-colour images of the curious scour marks on 16 April 2016.

In early April 2016, ocean scientist Norman Kuring of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center found a puzzling image that showed lines crisscrossing the North Caspian Sea. On its own, the image was strikingly beautiful. Shallow waters surrounding the Tyuleniy Archipelago allow you to see the dark green vegetation on the sea bottom. But the question remained: what caused those lines?

The dark green areas and the lines are features of the sea bottom. It's possible that some of the marks have a human origin. Similar lines show up in the world's oceans because of trawling. But the scientific literature and the January satellite image suggest that a majority of the marks in the images above were gouged by ice.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory - Additional editing by the eoPortal team.

Caspian Sea

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