The European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-2A satellite collected this image of the Putorana Plateau in northern Central Siberia. Situated about 100 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, the site serves as a major reindeer migration route and is one of the few centers of plant species richness in the Arctic.
Virtually untouched by human influence, this isolated mountain range includes pristine forests and cold-water lake and river systems. The lakes are characterised by elongated, fjord-like shapes, such as Lake Ayan in the upper-central part of the image. Zooming in on the lake shows that it is mostly ice-covered, with small patches of water peeking through around its lower reaches.
Another feature of this area is the flat-topped mountains formed by a geological process called plume volcanism: a large body of magma seeped through Earth’s surface and formed a blanket of basalt kilometers thick. Over time, cracks in the rock filled with water and eroded into the current rivers and lakes.