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Spacecraft nadir point: 24.8° S, 44.3° E

Photo center point: 25.0° S, 44.1° E

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Nadir to Photo Center: Southwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 219 nautical miles (406km)
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Image Caption: Linta River delta and dunes, southern Madagascar

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a very long lens to shoot this detailed image of the remote Linta River delta zone in southern Madagascar--showing 7.5 miles (12.1 km) of complex shoreline. Waves break far offshore (1.4 mi, 2.25 km) against a long line of coral reefs. A gap in the reef opposite the delta indicates where the river flowed at times of low sea level when the shoreline was far to the southwest of its present position, crossing the lower left corner of the image.

The Linta River was barely flowing when this image was taken during the winter dry season. This is shown by the beach completely blocking the mouths of the delta.

Waves breaking on this beach are distributing a tongue of reddish river mud--derived from the Linta sediment--well out beyond the reef into the open Mozambique Channel. Tendrils of dark, clearer water can be seen exiting from the bay with the mangrove wetland (image top left)

Bright, light-toned dunes cast shadows in the late afternoon sun. These winds build sand dunes by blowing sand out of the Linta River bed (image upper left). The bigger dune field (image upper right) is fed by sand moving from another delta out of the picture right. Just inland, numerous agricultural blocky fields occupy earlier dune fields (image far top right).