I was searching for the baobabs in Madagascar and found these wide circles near Avenue of the Baobabs...What are these?enter image description here

Here's the coordonates 20°16'53"S 44°28'49"E, and here is a link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/PWqZ6BioBrV1sRbt7


1 Answer 1


It's called center pivot irrigation. A long irrigation rig sprays water over a small part of a crop field to be irrigated. To cover the entire field, the irrigation rig rotates in a very large circle about a central pivot point. The result is circles such as those shown in the question. This technique is used worldwide for agriculture in semiarid areas where water is somewhat abundant but rain is not abundant (or is infrequent). Those circles are even more impressive in desert-like areas. What one sees is circles of green surrounded by brown.

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    $\begingroup$ See here for a clearer example in the US, and here for the desert example in Saudi Arabia. $\endgroup$
    – thosphor
    Commented Jan 30 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ I thought too that it was center pivot irrigation, but if that's what they are, they are not irrigated any more. The rig is clearly not there any more in these fields, and the grooves in which the wheels of the rig run are not there any more either. Furthermore, most of the fields now have trees growing in them. I think they used to be center pivot irrigated, but that that practice has been abandoned there. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31 at 1:17

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