30 Nov '11, 4pm

Watch the tar sands monster grow, year by year - NASA photos reveal widespread devastation: #noKXL #350ppm

Watch the tar sands monster grow, year by year - NASA photos reveal widespread devastation: #noKXL #350ppm

This series of images from the Landsat satellite shows the growth of surface mines over the Athabasca oil sands between 1984 and 2011. The Athabasca River runs through the center of the scene, separating two major operations. To extract the oil at these locations, oil producers remove the sand in big, open-pit mines, which are tan and irregularly shaped. The sand is rinsed with hot water to separate the oil, and then the sand and wastewater are stored in “tailings ponds,” which have smooth tan or green surfaces in satellite images.

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/a...

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