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Rio Branco

Rio Branco is in Brazil, in the state of Acre, near the Peruvian border. The area represented comprises 95km by 95km.
In the red channel the acquisition of 11 May 1992, and in the green channel the data take of 15 June 1992 is displayed. The blue channel was used to emphasis strong scatters (mainly main-made constructions). In this way white areas or dots are targets of +1.8db or higher.
A fine geomorphologic pattern is appreciated. Two types of deforestation activity can be recognized, large rectangular areas of typically some 20000 ha each, expanding along main roads , and small irregular cuts that seems to following lot-borders.
The colors within the deforestation are due to regrowth of small plants (green) or due to clearing from such regrowth after the rainy season (red). Note also some small clearings along roads and larger areas away from the roads appearing in a darker yellow. These areas are likely to be abandoned clearings and thus secondary forest.
The map of the area dated from 1972 only shows minor deforestation along the route towards northwest, not extending more than 3 km from the road, today the big L-shaped clearing reaches as far as 13km into the virgin forest.

ERS Data Utilization Section, ESA/ESRIN

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry