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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS022-E-58538 Date: Jan. 2010

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  Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Sir Bani Yas Island is located in the Persian Gulf near the western coastline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Roughly 14 kilometers (9.7 miles) by 9 kilometers (6 miles), the island is the surface expression of a salt dome, which is pocket of salt minerals that balloons upward into overlying layers of sedimentary rocks.

Salt domes start during past periods of alternating wet and dry climate. A common scenario is an enclosed basin that is alternately flooded and then subjected to extreme drying. High rates of evaporation deposit thick layers of salt minerals, such as common table salt and gypsum (a chalky mineral that is a major component of wallboard). These layers are eventually buried by sediments. If the salt layers are buried deeply enough, the pressure can cause them flow. Salt has lower density than the surrounding rock, so it tends to flow upwards, pushing up the overlying layers of rock to form a dome. While many salt domes retain a cap of the youngest rock layers at the surface, in some cases the underlying salt extrudes all the way to the surface.

This astronaut photograph illustrates the varying character of surfaces on Sir Bani Yas. The central mountains of Jebel Wahid (image center) mark the location of the Sir Bani Yas salt dome. The dome has breached the surface but exposed salt, primarily gypsum, is eroded, leaving a rugged, insoluble cap made of fragments of the overlaying sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Sand and silt derived from the Jebel Wahid and surrounding gravel-covered areas form beaches along the outer edge of the island.

Sir Bani Yas Island was the personal retreat of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was president of the UAE from 1971-2004. He established a nature preserve on the island for animals native to the Arabian Peninsula (including striped hyena, cheetah, oryx, ostrich, and gazelle) that is now open to the public. The numerous orchard plots than cover much of the island were part of a desert agricultural research program also started by the late Sheikh. Tan graded areas along the western and northeastern coast of the island (image bottom and image left) may be revegetated with additional plots or developed for other land uses.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 181k
Mission: ISS022  
Roll - Frame: E - 58538
Geographical Name: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  
Center Lat x Lon: 24.3N x 52.6E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N4
Camera Tilt: 23   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: N   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: 194  
Date: 20100131   YYYYMMDD
Time: 123835   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 23.0N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 52.7E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 240   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 186   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 20   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Water Views: GULF  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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