Satellite image of Toussidé, Chad

Image of the month, processed with Sentinel-2 imagery

Hello Earth? Moon calling…

What on Earth did happen here? It seems that we’re very far away, not even on Earth, maybe on the moon… I find this harsh landscape with craters and black lava flows that expand over many kilometers pretty inspiring.

One could imagine that Tintin famous rocket from the comics “Destination Moon” has landed right there in the middle of the crater that lies southeast of the huge black lava flow. If I would let my imagination run freely, I could even see the famous police detectives Thomson and Thompson jumping around in an amazing scenery heavily cratered and surrounded by steep rocky cliffs. The famous cartoonist Hergé could have certainly found inspiration in this almost lunar landscape to create sketch comic strips for this world famous comic book. Well, neither Google Earth nor satellite imagery existed in the fifties. Earth observation programs really started in the seventies. Hergé must have drawn its inspiration from other sources…

“Which killed the Tou with fire”

This satellite image shows Toussidé in the Tibesti Mountains in the northwestern part of Chad, Africa. Largely of volcanic origin, the Tibesti Mountains include many peaks that rise above 3,000 meters including the beautiful Toussidé which is 3,315 meters high.

Toussidé translates “Which killed the Tou with fire”, the Tou being the local Toubou people.  It is considered to be the only active Tibesti volcano. A large number of fumaroles are still active on its summit. Although the eruptive history of Toussidé is not well know, scientists estimate that the most recent lava flows are only a few hundred years old (which is pretty recent

Southwest of Toussidé lies the 8 kilometer wide caldera Trou au Natron. Most of its surface is lined with a white crust of bright white carbonate salts. You can spot easily this white area on the imagery.

This volcanic massif is one of the most breathtaking scenery in the world!

For Chad National Day, 11 August.


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