STS068-209-024 Loire River, France October, 1994 A section of the Loire River Valley (dark, linear feature that extends diagonally across the color infrared image) that flows generally northwest through the northern edge of the Central Plateau of France is visible. The Allier River, the only tributary in the Loire Basin that once afforded spawning grounds for Atlantic salmon but has been affected by two dams, is also visible (bottom center). The dams, located further upstream, have been recently removed in hopes that a thriving salmon population can be reestablished in this part of the Loire River Basin. The Allier and Loire Rivers are located in rift valleys. Nevers (light-colored area, slightly below center of the image), noted for its fine artistic earthenware (china) and the largest city in Burgundy, is located 4 miles (6 km) east of the confluence of the Loire and Allier Rivers. The uniform-looking, deep reddish terrain shows the distribution of the hilly, forested (green vegetation) in this region of central France; while the lighter-colored landscape is used for grazing (mainly sheep) and the production of hardy cereal grains.