Orbital View: Tributaries as Arteries

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The stark blood-red color of the San Francisco Bay salt ponds needs no filter:

Details from the always outstanding Daily Overview:

A recent figure estimates that 80% of the San Francisco Bay wetlands area—approximately 16,500 acres—have been developed for salt mining. The ponds get their particular, vibrant colors from the micro-algae that live there and the species’ tolerance to salinity. Areas that have a bright red hue are caused by the algae Dunaliella, which thrives in water with extremely high salt content.

Amusing Planet has a great collection of more aerial photos of the salt ponds.

(See all Orbital Views here)