The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical forest in the world. They occupy the northwestern part of Brazil and large areas of Colombia, Peru, and other South America countries. The full-flowing Amazon and thousands of other rivers flow here. Numerous cities, built during the rubber rush of the 19th century, rise on their banks. In Brazil, these are Manaus and Belen, and in Peru – Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado.
The image was processed using the infrared channel of the Sentinel-2 satellite, which turns the dense rainforest into a bright green. This allows differences in vegetation coverage to be seen much better than using only visible satellite channels visible to the human eye.
Infrared radiation, sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light. Therefore, it is invisible to the human eye. Infrared light generally refers to wavelengths from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum of about 700 nanometers (430 THz frequency) to 1 millimeter (300 GHz). However, longer infrared waves are often referred to as terahertz radiation.
At the top of the image is the Djurua River, the most meandering river in the Amazon. The river has shades of burgundy and purple because the reflected sunlight from the water’s surface consists mainly of blue and green, and the reflection in the near-infrared range is almost zero.
The Djurua River, which flows more than 3,000 km before entering the Amazon, is muddy and contains relatively high nutrients. It originates in the highlands of east-central Peru and then winds through the lowlands of Brazil.
On both sides of the river, you can see several crescent-shaped oxbows and Lake Oxbow. Such U-shaped water bodies usually form when rivers cross a meandering “neck” to curtail their current, with the result that the old channel is blocked – migrating away from the lake and creating a more direct route.
The Amazon rainforest is critical to regulating global warming as forests absorb millions of carbon emissions each year. As plants grow, they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as biomass. It is then released back into the atmosphere through processes such as deforestation for agriculture and forest fires.