Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO Sentinel-2 takes us over the border of the US states Utah and Colorado.
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Rivers cut through the landscape, along which we can see patches of agriculture appearing bright red in this false-colour image – a stark contrast to the less-vegetated areas across the semi-arid region.
Surrounded by fields in the upper left is the city of Vernal. Areas like buildings and parking lots with no vegetation appear blue and white. The long, light-brown rectangle shows the location of the regional airport.
The top-right section of the image shows part of the Dinosaur National Monument. The park boasts hundreds of dinosaur fossils as well as scenic canyons cut by winding rivers.
The area in the centre left is the Uintah Basin. Situated in the northern part of the Colorado Plateau, the basin is known for its oil and natural gas production. Zooming in on the area that appears to be tinted blue, we can see extraction sites scattered across the landscape: angular fields connected by numerous access roads.
The large black and dark blue structures are evaporation ponds – likely for wastewater from the oil and gas extraction activities. Wastewater ponds allow for the water to evaporate, which leaves behind concentrated residual waste, thus lowering the volume requiring treatment and reducing costs.
This image was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 7 November 2016.
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Provided by:European Space Agency