Ask NASA Climate | February 15, 2010, 16:00 PST
Pick of the pics
Kazakhstan: Where farming meets mining
Agricultural activities and mining occur side by side in the Republic of Kazakhstan. This scene is located in the Turgayskaya Oblast of central Kazakhstan, near the provincial capital of Arkalyk, where Russian spacecraft landings occur. To the right are large, mostly square fields that likely contain spring wheat, one of the cereal grains that grows well in the cold and dry climate. The colorful, irregular patterns seen on the left appear to be surface-mining operations where water has accumulated into small lakes. Bauxite and asbestos are the principal minerals extracted in this region.