Floods in Morocco - Satellite Image (November 26, 2002)


Unusually heavy rains hit Morocco in late November 2002, giving rise to floods that killed more than 60  people. The above false-color image (right) displays some of the worst of the flooding just north of the city of Rabat, located on Morocco's coast. The image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, flying aboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft.
Most of the casualties were due to flash flooding throughout the western half of Morocco. The water from the flash floods has drained into the now swollen riverbeds and lakebeds that appear as solid blue in the image. The floodwaters washed away loose sediment from the surrounding countryside and carried it to the Atlantic Ocean to form the sediment plumes that appear along the coast. Normally, hardly any standing water in Morocco is visible in MODIS imagery (left, acquired November 7, 2002). In these false color images land is green and tan, clouds are white and light blue, and water is dark blue and black.