Mingachevir Reservoir, Azerbaijan is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member on the International Space Station. This detailed photograph highlights the southern Mingachevir Reservoir located in north-central Azerbaijan. The Mingachevir Reservoir occupies part of the Kura Basin, a topographic depression located between the Greater Caucasus Mountains to the northeast and the Lesser Caucasus Mountains to the southwest. According to scientists, folded layers of relatively young (less than 5.3 million years old) sedimentary rock, explosive volcanic products (ash and tuff), and unconsolidated sediments form the gray hills along the northern and southern shorelines of the reservoir (center and right). Afternoon sun highlights distinctive parallel patterns in the hills that are the result of water and wind erosion of different stratigraphic layers exposed at the surface. The nearby city of Mingachevir (left) is split by the Kur River after it passes through the dam and hydroelectric power station complex at top center. The current city was built in support of the hydroelectric power station constructed as part of the then Soviet Union’s energy infrastructure for the region. Today, Mingachevir is the fourth largest city in Azerbaijan (by population) and has become a cultural and economic center of the country. The reservoir held approximately 15 billion cubic meters of water at the time this image was taken, with a total engineered capacity of 16 billion cubic meters. The width of the reservoir illustrated here is approximately 8 kilometers; a jet flying over the reservoir and its contrail are visible midway between the opposing shorelines.
Teide Volcano on the Canary Islands of Spain is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 20 crew member on the International Space Station. This detailed photograph features two stratovolcanoes – Pico de Teide and Pico Viejo – located on Tenerife Island, part of the Canary Islands of Spain. Stratovolcanoes are steep-sided; typically conical structures formed by interlayered lavas and fragmented rock material from explosive eruptions. Pico de Teide has a relatively sharp peak, whereas an explosion crater forms the summit of Pico Viejo. The two stratovolcanoes formed within an even larger volcanic structure known as the Las Canadas caldera – a large collapse depression typically formed when a major eruption completely empties the underlying magma chamber of a volcano. The last eruption of Teide occurred in 1909. NASA scientists point out sinuous flow levees marking individual lava flows. The scientists consider the flow levees as perhaps the most striking volcanic features visible in the image. Flow levees are formed when the outer edges of a channelized lava flow cool and harden while the still-molten interior continues to flow downhill – numerous examples radiate outwards from the peaks of both Pico de Teide and Pico Viejo. Brown to tan overlapping lava flows and domes are visible to the east-southeast of the Teide stratovolcano. Increased seismicity, carbon dioxide emissions, and fumarolic activity within the Las Canadas caldera and along the northwestern flanks of the volcano were observed in 2004. Monitoring of the volcano to detect renewal of activity is ongoing.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 21 crew member on the International Space Station. This detailed view illustrates the southern coastline of the Hawaiian island of Oahu including Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941 — 68 years ago — a surprise attack by the Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor and other targets on the island of Oahu precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II. Today, Pearl Harbor is still in use as a major United States Navy installation, and with Honolulu is one of the most heavily developed parts of the Island. Comparison between this image and a detailed astronaut photograph of Pearl Harbor taken in 2003 suggests that little observable land use or land cover change has occurred in the area over the past six years. The most significant change is the addition of more naval vessels to the Reserve Fleet anchorage in Middle Loch (center). The urban areas of Waipahu, Pearl City, and Aliamanu border the Harbor to the northwest, north, and east. The built-up areas, recognized by linear streets and white rooftops, contrast sharply with the reddish volcanic soils and green vegetated hillslopes of the surrounding areas.
Earthquake damage in Concepcion, Chile is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member on the International Space Station. This detailed view of the Chilean cities of Concepcion and Hualpen was acquired from the space station approximately seven hours after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred offshore 115 kilometers to the north-northeast. Much of the Chilean coastline is located above the boundary between the converging Nazca and South American tectonic plates. This type of plate boundary is known as a subduction zone; such zones frequently experience moderate to strong earthquakes as one tectonic plate overrides the other. The largest earthquake worldwide during the past 200 years (magnitude 9.5 in May 1960) had a source region approximately 230 kilometers north of the Feb. 27 quake. While the image is not detailed enough to see damage to individual buildings or roadways some indicators of earthquake damage are visible. A dark smoke plume is visible at lower left near an oil refinery in Hualpen. At lower right, parts of the road bed of a single-lane bridge over the Bio-Bio River appear to have collapsed. A smaller, white smoke plume is visible at right near the Universidad de Concepcion. Smoke and haze possibly related to the earthquake was noted over Santiago, Chile in data acquired by the MODIS sensor less than one hour after this photograph was taken.