Earth from Space - Image Information

LOCATION Direction Photo #: ISS048-E-63048 Date: Aug. 2016

The Largest River Delta in Europe

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot this photograph of the Volga River Delta, which stretches 160 kilometers (100 miles) across Russia's Astrakhan Oblast. It is Europe's largest river delta, situated where the Volga pours its fresh water and sediment into the northwest sector of the Caspian Sea.

Over the past century, the Volga Delta has grown from 3,222 square kilometers (1,244 square miles) in 1880 to 27,224 square kilometers (10,511 square miles) today. This significant growth is due both to sea level changes in the Caspian and the broad, gentle slope of the delta. When water from the river enters the delta, it gets split up into hundreds of waterways, creating one of the world's most complicated hydrographic networks. The upper delta is home to several cities and towns, including the city of Astrakhan, which lies 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the shore.

The delta is composed of three distinct zones. The first and most prominent includes the higher areas of the delta, which are dominated by linear mounds and basins known as "ilmens." These parallel mounds range from 400 meters (1,300 feet) to 10 kilometers (6 miles) long and stand as much as 8 meters (26 feet) high. They run east to west through the delta and are composed of clay-rich sands.

The second zone of the delta has very low relief and is the site of active and abandoned water channels. The third zone is the submarine portion of the delta and is composed of a broad platform that extends 30 to 60 kilometers (20-40 miles) offshore.

The Volga Delta is home to myriad wildlife species protected in the Astrakhan State Nature Reserve, established in 1919. There are 283 recorded species of birds (155 of which migrate to the delta from March to November) and at least 50 different species of fish. The reserve was dedicated as a Wetlands Site of International Importance in 1976 and added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 1984.

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 457k
Mission: ISS048  
Roll - Frame: E - 63048
Geographical Name: RUSSIAN FEDERATION  
Center Lat x Lon: 46.0N x 48.5E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 25
Camera:: N6
Camera Tilt: 52   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 78  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: SE   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: 20160821   YYYYMMDD
Time: 092139   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 48.4N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 44.6E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 187   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 213   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 54   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

Home Page
Home Page
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

NASA meatball logo
This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
ESRS logo