The Amur River is the world’s 10th longest, flowing east along the Chinese-Russian border before turning northeast and ultimately emptying into the Strait of Tartary. The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired this image on Sept. 30, 2019, showing the river as autumn foliage paints its banks yellow and orange.
Fall color reaches its “peak” when air temperatures drop and shortened daylight triggers plants to slow and stop the production of chlorophyll—the molecule that plants use to synthesize food. Without chlorophyll, the green pigment fades and various yellow and red pigments become visible. Northernmost latitudes see these changes first, with fall color appearing as early as September. Areas farther south can see peak color as late as mid-November.
The autumn beauty along the Amur follows a challenging summer for communities along the river. Heavy rain during the summer led to flooding that affected thousands of people in Russia’s Khabarovsk Region, according to news reports.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey