STS067-728A-78

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Spacecraft nadir point: 26.9° N, 45.4° E

Photo center point: 27.0° N, 44.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: West

Spacecraft Altitude: 180 nautical miles (333km)
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Image Caption: Two major features dominate this photograph: naturally occurring sand
dunes and numerous man-created circular agricultural field patterns.
This entire scene is located northwest of Riyadh, the capital city of
Saudi Arabia. In addition to the elongated sand ridges toward the
northwest corner of the photograph, distinctive sand dunes form
parallel northwest - southeast trending strips. In between these
parallel dune fields, a multitude of circular irrigated field patterns
are clearly visible. These field patterns are created by center-pivot
irrigation devices. Such devices are widely used in desert areas where
subsurface water can be economically pumped to the surface. This
agricultural technique adapted to the Saudi Arabian environment is
found in the fertile soils of sand and gravel areas, as well as in
areas where wadis (or intermittent stream beds) are located.




Two major features dominate this photograph: naturally occurring sand dunes and numerous man-created circular agricultural field patterns. This entire scene is located northwest of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. In addition to the elongated sand ridges toward the northwest corner of the photograph, distinctive sand dunes form parallel northwest by southeast trending strips. In between these parallel dune fields, a multitude of circular irrigated field patterns are clearly visible. These field patterns are created by center-pivot irrigation devices.