Flight STS-7; 15.9S, 46.4E, 19 June 1983
The Betsiboka estuary, with its bright rust-red sediments and intertwining distributory channels running through the rapidly growing delta, is a ready landmark to most astronauts as they orbit over Madagascar in the western Indian Ocean. The first photographs of this estuary were taken from this flight of the space shuttle Challenger. From this sequence of photographic information, the rapid growth of the sand flats, marshes, and sand bars of the Betsiboka could be readily charted with considerable precision. Because of the monsoonal character of the rainfall over Madagascar, the "pulsating" sedimentary deposits differ from those in most other estuaries around the world.
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