|STS038-082-021 Brahmaputra River, Northeast India November 1990
Although there is a slight haze in the atmosphere captured in this low-oblique photograph of the Brahmaputra River in extreme northeastern India, the dramatic, almost 3-dimensional perspective shows the physiographic relationship of the eastern Himalaya Mountains to one of the wettest river basins on Earth. Known as the Dihang River where it cuts through the eastern Himalayas, creating great gorges, numerous tributary streams, and alluvial fans, the deeply incised Brahmaputra River is highlighted as these channels break through the geologically young, uplifted folds of the Himalayas just north of Sadiya, India. The summer monsoons that India and Bangladesh depend on for most of their annual precipitation largely determines the quantity of water that will be transported through the Assam Valley of northeastern India, which receives rainfall amounts in excess of 200 inches (500 centimeters) annually. The forested, green slopes of the Himalayas in this area usually consist of deciduous trees at the lower elevations and conifers at the higher elevations. The snowcapped peaks and ridge lines usually appear at elevations of more than 13 000 feet (3960 meters) above sea level; only a few appear above 20 000 feet (6095 meters). Visible are the Brahmaputra River Valley's broad floodplain with heavily silted, meandering, multibraided channels and the dark green, forested foothills of the Patkai Mountain (southern edge of the photograph).