STS075-705-057 Brahmaputra and Ganges Rivers, India February 1996
The confluence of two of south Asia's great rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, is visible near the southern edge of this southwestern-looking, high-oblique photograph. The Sun's reflection off the water (sunglint) helps identify many water channels within the floodplain of the Brahmaputra River as it curves around the heavily forested Khasi Hills of northeast India. Easily distinguished are the Brahmaputra's tributaries that flow generally southward off the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains and the southeasterly-flowing Ganges' multibraided channels and numerous sandbars. These two great rivers merge in the small, low-lying country of Bangladesh, most of which is shown in this photograph. The Sundarbans, the most extensive mangrove forest in the world and the habitat for the endangered Bengal tiger, is the dark area in the extensive delta created along the northern edge of the Bay of Bengal. Because large quantities of fertile soils are deposited in the delta and throughout Bangladesh, this heavily populated region is well endowed with rich soils for farming; however, the monsoons can produce devastating damage and loss of human life, especially for the people in the flood-prone, low-lying area.
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