This Envisat image shows the volcanic island of Hawaii (Hawai'i), also known as the 'Big Island', in the Pacific Ocean.
The island is part of the United States' State of Hawaii. Having formed above a magma hotspot in the Pacific plate, Hawaii is subject to frequent earthquake tremors and volcanic activity. It is dominated by two volcanic peaks: the 4170-metre-high Mauna Loa to the south of the island and the smaller, taller, 4250-metre-high Mauna Kea.
Hawaii, like the other Hawaiian islands, has lush tropical forests from the combination of heavy rainfall and fertile volcanic soil. On the eastern side of the island can be noted a greater prevalence of vegetation due to moisture brought in by the prevailing Pacific trade winds, while the western side is drier.
Light green and yellow areas in the image correspond to human settlements and plantations growing the main crops of the island: sugar cane, coffee and pineapples.
This 13 December 2002 image was acquired by Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) working in Full Resolution mode to provide a spatial resolution of 300 metres. The image has a width of 187 kilometres.