08 May '11, 10pm

River Deltas, Lake Ayakum, Tibet [image] #NASA

Numerous lakes dot the otherwise arid landscape of the Tibetan Plateau. One of those lakes is Ayakum, near the northern boundary of the Plateau, to the southeast of the Kunlun Mountains. While many of the small glacier- and snowmelt-fed streams on the Plateau give rise to major Southeast Asian rivers (including the Mekong and Yangtze), some empty into saline lakes such as Lake Ayakum. This astronaut photograph highlights two river deltas formed along its southwestern shoreline. When sediments build up to the point that a river can no longer flow over them, the river will jump to a new channel and begin the process anew. Over geologic time, the channels tend to sweep back and forth—similar to the motion of a windshield wiper—to form the semi-circular or fan shape typical of a delta. Gray to tan surfaces indicate prior positions of the river channels; the uniform coloration ...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=50500&s...

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earthobservatory.nasa.gov 08 May '11, 10pm

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earthobservatory.nasa.gov 08 May '11, 10pm

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