"Startling red patches sprout from an agricultural landscape that looks almost like a Cubist painting," the USGS said. The fields, shown in this satellite image from Sept. 9, 2013, in this part of eastern Kazakhstan follow the contours of the land, so they are long and narrow in mountain valleys, and large and rectangular over the plains, the USGS reports.
Etched in Snow
This natural-color image of snow-covered southwestern Russia, captured on Feb. 1, 2014, shows windbreaks, roads and fence lines near the Volga River flowing across the top of the image. The thick lines are trees.
In this Landsat-8 image, snapped on July 30, 2013, the rock layers in western China are offset enough to show fault lines. The different colors indicate the time and place the rocks formed.
"Like blue ink bleeding onto parchment, the Khor Kalmat lagoon branches off the Arabian Sea and spills into the southern Pakistan landscape near the Makran Coast Range. Mudflats cover almost the entire lagoon, which fills with shallow water at high tides. The small areas of green are isolated pockets of mangrove forest," the USGS said. The image was captured on June 9, 2014.
This infrared view of the Zagros Mountains in Iran was snapped on Dec. 3, 2014. Dark patches called salt glaciers interrupt the mountainous pattern. According to the USGS, these salt glaciers began their lives as salt domes buried under rock, before being pushed up through the earth, "squeezing to the surface like toothpaste."
Sloppy Paint Job
In southwestern Iran, a mix of human-made and natural features create a lovely painting of sorts. Shadegan Pond is the dark red shape at the center of the image. The red areas indicate vegetation; irrigated farmland looks like rectangular shapes in the upper left of the image, which was taken on Oct. 12, 2014.
Part of the Dasht-e Lut Desert in southeastern Iran appears as a bold brushstroke through a purple canvas. Huge rocky formations created by wind erosion, called kaluts (the linear features) can also be seen in the image. Some kaluts stretch more than 62 miles (100 km). The image was captured by Landsat 8 on June 12, 2014.
Australian Iron Ore
Different types of rocks are revealed in this image by Landsat 8's shortwave infrared and near-infrared detectors, according to the USGS. Rocklea Dome stands out as an oval in the upper center of the image. The meandering features in the dome are iron deposits. The image, showing the Hamersley Iron Province in Western Australia, was captured on Dec. 19, 2014.
This enhanced image of Western Australia, taken on Dec. 5, 2014, looks a little like melted crayons, USGS said. The yellow sand dunes of the Great Sandy Desert can be seen in the upper right of the image, while the red splotches indicate burned areas, according to the USGS.
This satellite image, taken on June 1, 2014, shows the near-perfect circle of forest that separates New Zealand's Egmont National Park from the rest of the environment. At the center of the park stands the snow-capped Mount Taranaki.
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