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Queensland floods from space

Ben Domensino, Monday February 11, 2019 - 17:07 EDT

Queensland's flooding has been captured in spectacular detail by high resolution images taken from space by NASA's Terra satellite.

A fortnight of monsoonal rain has left masses of water flowing through bulging river systems in northern and western Queensland this week.

Image: Water can be seen flowing through the Flinders Catchment in the state's northwest and other river systems in western Queensland on Sunday, February 10th. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

The brown floodwaters in the naturally shaded image above can be seen more clearly when different colours are assigned to the various wavelengths of light that are being detected by NASA's satellite.

Image: False colour satellite image showing the difference between flooded rivers in light blue and oceans in darker blue, on Sunday, February 10th. This contrast is caused by sediments in floodwater, which change the way light is reflected back to space. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

A third version of this false coloured image helps the inland flooding stand out even more.

Image: False colour satellite image showing flooded rivers in western Queensland on Sunday, February 10th. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

A closer look at northwest Queensland shows extensive flood between the Flinders and Norman Rivers. There are visible streaks of muddy water where these rivers discharge into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Image: Flooding between the Flinders and Norman Rivers in northwest Queensland on Sunday, February 10th. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

Further south, floodwaters are travelling inland through the Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper Catchments. These rivers eventually flow into the Lake Eyre Basin, however they may dry up before getting that far.

Image: False colour satellite image showing flooding in Queensland's Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper Catchments on Sunday, February 10th. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

Record-breaking also caused major flooding in Queensland's eastern tropics during the last fortnight. On Sunday, sediment-laden water could still be seen flowing out to sea near Townsville.

Image: Floodwater in eastern tropical Queensland on Sunday, February 10th. Muddied water from the flooded rivers can be seen discharging into the Coral Sea. NASA Worldview/Terra-MODIS.

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