In the high plains of the Andes in Bolivia, Lake Poopo has virtually vanished, as shown in this image from NASA's Terra spacecraft. Once covering over 3,000 square kilometers, the lake essentially dried up in 2015.

Lake Poopo 2016 for PIA21546
Lake Poopo 2001

In the high plains of the Andes in Bolivia, Lake Poopo has virtually vanished. Once covering over 3,000 square kilometers, and an important resource for lakeside fishing communities, the lake essentially dried up in 2015. What led to Lake Poopo's demise? Water diversions upstream, weather extremes and recurrent droughts are thought to blame. The images cover an area of 48.9 by 55.1 km, were acquired February 14, 2001 and November 6, 2016, and are located near 18.7 degrees south, 67.1 degrees west.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.

The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.

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