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Sediment in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Seen By Satellite

Tropical Storm Lee brought heavy rainfall from the Gulf of Mexico to New England in early September, 2011. Lee's large rainfall totals swelled rivers and creeks and produced record flooding in Vermont . It also swelled rivers and streams in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and carried sediment downstream. That sediment was visible from NASA satellites.


This true-color image of the light brown sediment in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was taken on September 13, 2011 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Susquehanna River, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay from the north, recorded record flooding levels as a result of Tropical Storm Lee's rainfall. That rainfall swept sediment down the river and into the northern Chesapeake Bay, as evidenced in this satellite image.


According to Chesapeake the watershed encompasses the entire District of Columbia and parts of six states — Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It stretches across more than 64,000 square miles. A watershed is an area of land that drains to a particular body of water.




NASA image use policy.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Taken on September 16, 2011