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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS048-E-72377 Date: Sep. 2016
Geographic Region: AUSTRALIA-WA

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  Sediment Patterns, Western Australia

Once clouds have cleared away, the effects of major storms often can be viewed from space for days and weeks. That is what happened when an astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) of coastline and islands on the northwest coast of Australia.

The tan and white swirls in the sea are sediments that washed out after an unusual rainfall event during the dry season. Rain fell inland on August 30-31, about five days before this image was taken, and the sediment was channeled down local rivers and out into Collier Bay. Rainfall records from two towns in the Kimberly region of Australia - 24 millimeters in Derby and 46 millimeters in Fitzroy Crossing - indicate that there was a continuous stretch of rainless days for weeks before and after this chance rainfall event. (The wet monsoon season runs from November to April.)

The sediment patches seem to be chaotic, but the ragged, finger-like pattern is actually typical where near-shore tides move water to and fro, especially at the heads of bays. Long, narrow patches of sediment also show the direction of the local ocean current, which runs from east to west (lower right to upper left, at image lower center).

The dominant sediment pattern in the image is the accumulation on the downstream side (north and west sides) of the islands, where the water is protected from the east-west ocean current. The biggest islands, Traverse and Woninjaba, have the biggest sediment patches.

The Kimberly region of Western Australia is so remote that boat and helicopter are the usual means of moving through this wilderness area. Tourists are drawn to the natural beauty of the mountainous scenery.

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 357k
Mission: ISS048  
Roll - Frame: E - 72377
Geographical Name: AUSTRALIA-WA  
Center Lat x Lon: 16.3S x 124.1E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N6
Camera Tilt: 12   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: SW   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 20160904   YYYYMMDD
Time: 071016   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 15.7S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 124.6E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 290   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 219   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 33   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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