Earth Observations taken by the Expedition 23 Crew

Sôichi Noguchi2010-05-22


Washington, DC, United States

ISS023-E-050542 (22 May 2010) --- Widespread flooding along the Vistula River in southeastern Poland is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member on the International Space Station. The Vistula River is a major river in Poland that originates in the western part of the Carpathian Mountains (specifically the western slopes of the mountain Barania Gora) in southern Poland. The river winds its way northward for 1,047 kilometers, through major cities such as Krakow and Warsaw, to Gdansk Bay on the Baltic Sea. Several towns have been completely or partially inundated including Gorzyce, Sokolniki and Trzesn in addition to large numbers of agricultural fields (normally green as visible at top and bottom right). While the flooding illustrated here is extensive, it represents but a small “snapshot” of conditions that have developed in Eastern Europe over the past two weeks. Spring flooding of rivers is not an uncommon occurrence in Poland but this event is being called the most serious flood in several decades. Severe floods were recorded in 1570, 1584, 1719, 1891, and 1997, with the first records of local embankments for flood control dating from the thirteenth century. By 1985, 370 rivers in Poland (including the Vistula) had been completely or partly embanked along a total length of 9,028 kilometers for some degree of flood mitigation. Heavy rains caused high waters in the Vistula River first in southern Poland. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated as the river level rose and broke through water-logged dikes and embankments. The flood surge then moved northward through Warsaw and continues towards the Baltic Sea.


  • Title: Earth Observations taken by the Expedition 23 Crew
  • Creator: Soichi Noguchi
  • Date Created: 2010-05-22
  • Rights: JSC
  • Album: mgwhite

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