Land Use in Kazahkstan
November 28, 2002
The photo above was taken using a 400 mm lens by a crew member on the Space Shuttle (STS-112) on October 17, 2002. This scene is located near the landing area for Russian spacecraft, in the Turgayskaya Oblast of central Kazakhstan, formerly the second largest Soviet republic. The earth tones (tan and brown patterns) on the right-hand side of the image result from agricultural activities. Large, rectangular fields are plowed in preparation for the planting of spring wheat; a cereal crop that grows well in cold, dry climates, such as the steppes of central Asia. Note also the drainage patterns within the fields at the upper right. On the left-hand side of the image, the irregular reddish and bluish patterns are likely surface-mining operations - bauxite and asbestos are the principal minerals extracted from this region. Water has accumulated in some of the open mines and quarries, forming a series of man-made lakes.