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Photos: Artistic Views of Earth from Above

River and Ridge

earth as art

The Susquehanna River appears as a dark line coursing through this scene in southeastern Pennsylvania. The cities of York, Lancaster, and Reading lie among agricultural lands. The State capital, Harrisburg, is positioned against the orange folds in the upper left of the image, along the edge of the Appalachian Mountain Ridge and Valley Province. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

The Susquehanna River, seen on April 24, 2014, appears as a dark line coursing through this scene in southeastern Pennsylvania. "The cities of York, Lancaster, and Reading lie among agricultural lands. The State capital, Harrisburg, is positioned against the orange folds in the upper left of the image, along the edge of the Appalachian Mountain Ridge and Valley Province," the USGS said.

Rock Folding

earth as art

This Landsat image shows how glaciers scoured the landscape, gouging out depressions that formed linear lakes. The glaciers also exposed the complex folded rock layers that form the Labrador Trough of Quebec in Canada. Glacial action is evident in the fingerprint-like patterns. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

This Landsat image from Sept. 14, 2013 shows the handiwork of glaciers, which are slow-moving rivers of ice. As they creep across the ground, glaciers scour the landscape, even gouging out craters that form lakes. Here, the glaciers exposed the folded rock layers that form the Labrador Trough of Quebec in Canada.

Scorpion Reef

earth as art

Is this a tiny creature on a microscope slide? No, but you are close. This is an image of a structure built by a multitude of small creatures. At about 21 kilometers (13 miles) wide, this feature is the largest coral structure in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The Arrecife Alacranes—or Scorpion Reef—supports wide biological diversity and is home to several endangered species. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

The Arrecife Alacranes — or Scorpion Reef — is 13 miles (21 km) wide and is considered the largest coral structure in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The reef, formed by a multitude of tiny coral creatures, is seen on Nov. 5, 2014.

Capillaries

earth as art

Marking part of the boundary between Colombia and Venezuela, the Meta River resembles an artery among capillaries within the human body. Those capillary-like features actually depict dense tree cover along the numerous streams that flow among rich tropical grassland. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

Seen on Jan. 28, 2014, the Meta River resembles an artery among capillaries in the human body, the USGS notes. Those capillary-like features indicate dense tree cover along the streams in the rich tropical grassland. The river marks the boundary between Colombia and Venezuela.

Oxbows in Bolivia

earth as art

The Beni River in Bolivia resembles a blue ribbon as it meanders toward the Amazon River. Scattered along the river are numerous oxbow lakes, which are curved bodies of water that form when a meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a freestanding body of water. Dark green colors in the image indicate forest and lighter green shades indicate grassland or sparse forest. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

The Beni River meanders toward the Amazon River in this satellite image captured on Sept. 29, 2014. At several spots along the river, a meander from the main river was cut off to form curved bodies of water called oxbow lakes.

Tessera Mosaic

earth as art

The Tietê River snakes across this tessera mosaic of multicolored shapes near Ibitinga, Brazil. Fields of sugarcane, peanuts, and corn vary in their stages of development. Lavender, purple, and bright blue indicate actively growing crops. Light yellow or white indicate little or no vegetation growth. The splotches of dark mustard yellow are urban areas. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

The Tietê River snakes across image taken on Sept. 2, 2014 near Ibitinga, Brazil. Fields of sugarcane, peanuts and corn can be seen in different stages of development. Actively growing crops are shown in purples and blues, while little or no vegetation growth appears light yellow or white. Urban areas are shown in a dark mustard color.

Live Science Staff
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