Published on 24 May 2019
Captured on 14 April 2018 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite, this image shows western Pakistan and an important wetland area.
The image depicts the fragmented coast, part of the Indus River Delta. A river delta forms when sediment carried from the river enters a stagnant body of water, creating an alluvial fan, which in this case extends 150 km along the coastline. The Indus River, visible on the right, veers through the Sindh Province and is one of the longest rivers in the world, rising in Tibet and flowing around 3000 km before emptying into the Arabian Sea.
The Indus Delta consists of creeks, swamps, marshes and the seventh largest mangrove forest in the world.
However, owing to major irrigation works and dams built on the river, as well as low rainfall, the amount of silt discharged into the sea has reduced, affecting the mangrove and local community significantly. A huge proportion of the delta has been lost and the survival of the delta freshwater species, including the Indus river dolphin, are at risk.
ESA also has published a video about the image, which you can find below: