STS067-722A-53

Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
3947 x 3963 pixels 637 x 640 pixels 640 x 480 pixels 1269 x 1274 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:

Spacecraft nadir point: 22.7° S, 116.8° E

Photo center point: 22.0° S, 114.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: West

Spacecraft Altitude: 189 nautical miles (350km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
3947 pixels 3963 pixels No No Earth From Space collection Download Image
637 pixels 640 pixels No No Earth From Space collection Download Image
640 pixels 480 pixels No No ISD 1 Download Image
1269 pixels 1274 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: STS067-722A-53 Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia March 1995
This near-vertical photograph of Exmouth Gulf, an inlet of the Indian Ocean, and the North West Cape Peninsula on the central coast of Western Australia was taken after heavy tropical rains. Floodwaters (orange-red) appear in the mangrove swamps along the gulf coast and are interspersed throughout the sand dunes near the coast. On the elongated North West Cape Peninsula, Cape Range National Park with its miles (kilometers) of beaches sheltered by coral reefs is visible between Exmouth Gulf and the Indian Ocean. A filamentous pattern in the Gulf probably indicates a plankton bloom. Rainfall is usually meager; however, summer cyclones can flood the deep limestone gullies that extend from the middle of the peninsula toward the gulf and the ocean. Until the early 1950s, this region was sparsely populated; however, with the discovery of oil on the peninsula in 1952, the small town of Exmouth on the gulf side (barely visible in the photograph) quickly became a major port city. As discoveries of oil were made in other areas of Western Australia, other port cities sprang up. Today, Exmouth is more famous for tourism than for shipping.

The Exmouth Gulf, western Australia, is bounded on the west by the Cape Ranges; near the base of the peninsula the Learmonth Airfield, site of a solar observatory, can be seen. Spit-accretion ridges formed on ancient beaches extend along the western edge of the peninsula, which today is lined by the Ningaloo Reef. Red mud carried by floodwaters, the result of Hurricane Bobby the previous week, cover flat coastal land along the eastern side of the gulf. The mud is mixing slowly with marine water as it filters through passes between mangrove-covered islands. A filamentous pattern in the gulf probably indicates a plankton bloom. Island paleodunes stretching from south to north cover the landscape.