Northwest Venezuela is displayed in this Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image. The area covers the Lago de Maracaibo and the Guajira and Paraguand peninsulas, with the island of Aruba and Curacao in the Caribbean. The Lake is surrounding on either side by mountain chains, to the east the Cord de Merida and to the west the Sierra de Perija.
The most interesting thing in this image however are the forest fires we can observe on the forest plains extending out from the mountainous regions to the left and the right of the image. Particularly looking at the bottom right we see smoke plumes from these fires spreading from the northeast to the southwest. These fires are likely to be controlled fires for forest clearing for agriculture; such de-forestation is at its peak in this area in March.
Instrument: MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
Date of Acquisition: 7 March 2003
Orbit number: 05318
Instrument features: Full Resolution image (300 - metre resolution)