Autumn colors 2020


Some impressions from this year’s autumn from a satellite perspective.

Eastern Franz Josef Land in late Autumn 2020

The first one is a glimpse of eastern Franz Josef Land (most prominently featuring Graham Bell Island and Wilczek Land) with a mixture of the last traces of summer thaw in the form of bluish glacier ice and a first hint of snow and frost on the not ice covered areas.

The second is a view from south of the Suntar-Khayata Range in the Russian Far East.

South of the Suntar-Khayata Range in Autumn 2020

In this area autumn colors prominently highlight the two most common tree types in much of northeastern Siberia – Larix gmelinii (Dahurian larch) and Pinus pumila (Siberian dwarf pine). The larch features a yellow-orange color in autumn while the pine stays green.

Larch often dominates in the lower parts of the valleys around the rivers while the pines are more common on the upper slopes near the tree line.

What can also be nicely seen in this view is the naled or Aufeis at higher altitudes in the valleys where river water flooding land areas and freezing at the surface during winter has led to the formation of ice cover that – as can be seen – in some cases does not fully thaw over the summer which is visible in a highly contrasting white on images.

Towards the south tree types become more diverse and the interpretation of the colors less clear. Also the change in colors has not yet progressed that far.

The third and last image is from the Kamchatka Peninula showing the bright white of the freshly snow covered cone of the Kronotsky volcano between the darker autumn colors of the area.

Kronotsky, Kamchatka in Autumn 2020

All images based on Copernicus Sentinel-2 data. For Orientation: Locations of all the views shown can be found in the following map:

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