NASA: National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEarth Observatory

Flooding in Brisbane Suburbs

Posted January 18, 2011
Flooding in Brisbane Suburbs
download large image (3 MB, JPEG) acquired January 13, 2011

This detailed astronaut photograph illustrates flooding in suburbs of the Brisbane, Australia metropolitan region. The Brisbane area experienced catastrophic flooding following unusually heavy rainfall on January 10, 2011. With surficial soils already saturated from previous rainfall events, eastward-draining surface flow caused the Brisbane River to flood—inundating an estimated 20,000 homes in suburbs of the capital city of Queensland. Other cities in Queensland have also experienced damaging floods during previous heavy rainfall events this year.

The image, taken by astronauts on board the International Space Station, highlights several suburbs along the Brisbane River in the southern part of the Brisbane metropolitan area. The light-colored rooftops of residences and other structures contrast sharply with green vegetation and brown, sediment laden floodwaters. Most visible low-lying areas are inundated by floodwater, perhaps the most striking being Rocklea at image upper left. The suburb of Yeronga (image lower left) also has evident regions of flooding, as does a park and golf course located along a bend in the Brisbane River to the south of St. Lucia (image center). Flooding becomes less apparent near the higher elevations of Mt. Coot-Tha at image right.

More images of this event in Natural Hazards

Astronaut photograph ISS026-E-17421 was acquired on January 13, 2011 with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 26 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

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