Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sediment-Laden Runoff, Campos, Brazil

Tragedy struck southeastern Brazil when heavy, persistent rain lead to a landslide that killed at least 13 people near Jamapará in Rio de Janeiro state. This is a distressingly persistent problem in Brazil, where landslides triggered by torrential rains one year ago killed nearly 1,000. We hope the rains ease off and give the people a break.

MODIS satellite image showing sediment-laden runoff from Paraiba River, 100 miles downstream from recent deadly landslide triggered by heavy rain.
This MODIS satellite image taken on January 12 shows cloud cover lingering over much of the region.  But a patch of brown coloration in the Atlantic Ocean along the coast near Campos is a sign of the tumult more than 100 miles inland: it's caused by sediment-laden discharge of the rain-swollen Paraiba River, which flows past the site of the landslide and through the city of Campos in its way to the sea.

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