Minimize Adam's Bridge

Adam's Bridge, also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 50 km long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (south-west) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 1 to 10 metres deep in places, which hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel: temple records seem to say that Adam's Bridge was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480.

More information is available on Wikipedia.

Adam's Bridge
Overlay images

Our tour around the world in 2018 focuses over Adam's Bridge today, which connects India and Sri Lanka. The aim of these images acquired by Landsat 5 and 8 in 2006 and 2018, is to show the remnants of this land bridge that connected India and Sri Lanka.

Until 1480, Sri Lanka and India were connected by a land bridge called Adam's Bridge, which made it possible to move easily from one country to another. This natural bridge was destroyed by a terrible cyclone. Since then, even ships can no longer transit in that stretch of sea, known as the Strait of Palk, in the Indian Ocean, because the seabed is too low. But now, after centuries, this thin strip of land has re-emerged from the water, forming many small islands and sand banks and changing the geography of Asia.

Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download Landsat data through the ESA portals (or third party mission free catalogue), where images captured every day are made available in near real time to the users and the scientific community.

Landsat full resolution data products are freely available for immediate download at:

Adam's Bridge - 2018Adam's Bridge - 2006

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View Landsat 5 TM high resolution image (JPG 2.3 MB)

View Landsat 8 OLI high resolution image (JPG 2.1 MB)

Technical Information of original image
Product: Geo Tiff format
Satellite/Sensor: Landsat 5 TM & Landsat 8 OLI
Resolution: 30 metres
Coverage: 180 x 180 KM
Acq. Date: 28 Apr 2006 and 23 Jan 2018
Band Combination used to create this image: 3, 2, 1 (R-G-B) and 4, 3, 2 (R-G-B) Visible colour layers
Sentinel-2 view

This Sentinel-2 image, acquired with the satellite's optical sensor, shows the same area as the Landsat images in 2017.

Adams Bridge

View Sentinel-2 high resolution image (JPG 3.2 MB)

Technical Information of original image
Product: Geo Tiff format
Satellite/Sensor: Sentinel-2 (Optical Sensor)
Resolution: 10 metres
Acq. Date: 17 Nov 2017
Band Combination used to create this image: 4, 3, 2 (R-G-B) Visible colour layers
Map of area

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