The skies over the eastern Mediterranean Sea were strikingly clear on September 10, 2013 when the Terra satellite passed overhead, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to capture this true-color image of the region.
This image is centered on the normally blue waters of the eastern Mediterranean, between Turkey (north) and Egypt (south). Sediment, pouring off the land, particularly Egypt’s Nile delta, discolor the waters near the coast with bright blues and greens, then greenish-gray as they sink and are carried by currents. The Red Sea (southeast) also contains some sediment, and Turkey’s Lake Beysehir shows a turquoise-and-green phytoplankton bloom.
Red hotspots, indicating actively burning fires, are dotted throughout the region, but cluster in the agricultural lands of the Nile delta and surrounding Adana, Turkey. The highly reflective sands of the Sahara Desert, in both Libya (southwest) and Egypt appear in bright, light shades of tan, while the Nile River, as well as it’s delta, are dark green, reflecting verdant vegetation.