Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is highlighted in this image, acquired by Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on 30 June 2009.
The island boasts an extremely diverse terrain with beaches and lagoons along the coasts, high plateaus and mountains in the centre, and rivers, deserts and grasslands spread throughout. Due to the permanently reddish tint of its bare earth, Madagascar has earned the nickname Great Red Island.
Madagascar’s major rivers rise in the highlands near the eastern coast and flow west through valleys to the Mozambique Channel (left). Green and tan swirls along the west coast are sediments being transported in the water.