Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
This SPOT-6 image, acquired on 29 July 2014, shows the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil.
Located on Brazil's northeastern coast, the park is composed of rolling sand dunes across a 1500 km2 region. For much of the year, this region is composed entirely of white sand, but from July to September - during the rain season - an unusual quirk of nature sees large freshwater lagoons appear in the midst of the dunes.
Rainfall and excess water conveyed by the Amazon River flow into the sand dunes and fill in the natural basins between the dunes which sit above a thick layer of rock. These lagoons are visible in the SPOT-6 image; areas of blue, green and dark water amongst the white sand. Outside the rain season, these lagoons evaporate entirely. The sandy area is typically arid and has no vegetation, which would in other circumstances classify it as a desert, but it cannot be classified as such due to the unusual amount of rainfall and freshwater the region receives each year.
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Credit: Airbus Defence and Space 2014