Every spring, Africa’s Zambezi River swells with seasonal rain, causing the river to overflow into its broad floodplains. This year was no exception. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite passed Namibia’s Caprivi Strip on May 13, 2014, it captured imagery showing widespread flooding.
In this false-color image, which was made with both infrared and visible light, floodwater appears black. Vegetation is bright green, and bare ground is brown. For comparison, the lower image shows the same area on February 21, 2014. For more information about the geology that defines the floodplain, read this story.