31 votes

What are these undersea lines all around Hawaii?

Short answer: The lines radiating from the island are artifacts from a mapping process that superimposes high-resolution sonar data from standard ship tracks on top of r low- or average sonar data ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,492
18 votes
Accepted

What are these very wide circles I saw on google map in Madagascar?

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 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.6k
18 votes
Accepted

What are these underwater structures near 6°N 85°55'W

As the other answer suggests, these are sonar surveys of the ocean depths. But the answer is a bit more complicated. The vast majority of the ocean floor has never been mapped. We really only know ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
13 votes

What are these underwater structures near 6°N 85°55'W

Supplementing Wolfgang's answer, here's a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration story that talks about the appearance of ocean-bottom artifacts: With legions of people around the ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,492
12 votes
Accepted

What is this narrow band of clouds?

Given the weather patterns, it looks like Google Earth is generating those cloud overlays from some recent (i.e., the current day) satellite images. That line is suspiciously close to the edge of ...
Deditos's user avatar
  • 3,950
10 votes
Accepted

Large scale structures in the Sahara – what are they?

These features are created by the wind.You will note that the upper left portion has a small dark spot. This is known as Waw al-Namus, or the "Oasis of Mosquitoes." It has a path of material in the ...
Douglas J E Barnes's user avatar
10 votes

What are these undersea lines all around Hawaii?

Hawai was created by a coat of plume. This means that hot material rises and penetrates the oceanic currents! These are fracture marks from this process. Secondly, the plate is torn apart by ...
Weiss's user avatar
  • 1,989
9 votes
Accepted

What are these lighted shapes on Google Maps?

The shiny objects are the metal roofs of buildings. The photos have been taken at a time when the roofs reflect much of the sunlight towards the camera.
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
9 votes

What are these features on Eldon Hill?

These are marked up on the British Geological Survey's mapping as mineral veins cutting through the limestones, and in the associated memoir as sulphide ore veins. The surface expression that shows on ...
Andy M's user avatar
  • 2,057
8 votes

What are these 'spine' land features on the banks of the Oder river?

River Groynes or Wing dams which help to maintain a navigable channel by increasing river scour along the channel for shipping, reducing the need for dredging. They may also help reduce ice jamming.
Siv's user avatar
  • 2,105
7 votes
Accepted

What are these river/canyon-like carvings in the ocean?

The carvings are submarine canyons, a part of the continental slope leading from the continental shelf to the continental rise and ultimately the Abyssal plains. They are a product of : erosion ...
R.K.'s user avatar
  • 216
6 votes
Accepted

Are the images of city lights from GOES-East GeoColor based on real-time imagery?

No, it is not real-time imagery of city lights. As per the GOES Geo-Color Description (which should be at the bottom of the page you are on): GeoColor is a multispectral product composed of True ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
  • 13.6k
5 votes
Accepted

What are these large yellow areas in Kazakhstan?

Those are sand dunes and other sand deposits associated with rivers. If you use the Google Map "Explore" (aka Show Imagery) option, there are many photos showing the close-ups of those ...
f.thorpe's user avatar
  • 13.6k
5 votes

What produces these distinct shapes in the Rub' al Khali seen from space?

This a great example of "self-organization" in a geomorphological system; this one an oscillating system at a fairly large scale. On a much smaller scale, you find similar structures on sand dune ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What are these radial line patterns shown in representations of antarctica?

I can't be sure, but I strongly suspect that the radial lines in the first two images are the result of a bug in the software used to draw the map, probably resulting from vector polygons that are ...
Semidiurnal Simon's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What are all those "spots" on the Mediterranean Sea floor?

Since this is the "satellite view" and the features don't show up in a bathymetry map, they are most likely surface artifacts from something like the large cruise ships that frequent the ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,492
3 votes

What is this long mark undersea

It looks like a submarine canyon incised into the seafloor and shelf by repeated sediment "flushing". Given the location, earthquakes probably flush huge quantities of sediments from the low ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
2 votes

What are these clearings in Amazon rainforest?

Hard to say. Some could be clearings for log landings, some for small villages or outposts used by the military or others, some cleared due to natural disturbance in the area (e.g. fire from ...
cr0's user avatar
  • 1,178
2 votes

What are these features in the Tombouctou Region?

Those blue colors are basically artefacts due to image processing. The last one in Bing Maps doesn't look blue at all. It's just somehow slightly darker with some trees or large animals. The local ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 829
2 votes
Accepted

What produces these distinct shapes in the Rub' al Khali seen from space?

NASA has just published (16 June 2018) a similar picture on its Earth Observatory website. The pictures in the question were taken after Tropical Cyclone Mekunu passed over the region in May 2018. ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
2 votes

What causes these banded clouds?

Simple harmonic (SH) long crested cloud waves, commonly seen in windswept skies, occur between adjacent air strata flowing in different directions. One stratum is warmer, with higher humidity, causing ...
Gavin Hamilton's user avatar
2 votes

What are these large yellow areas in Kazakhstan?

These look like dried up lake beds or places where a river over flowed its banks. Look along the edges of the area for details like old river beds, deltas or straight edges like a man made dam or ...
Google User 2's user avatar
1 vote

Bright patterns in the Dry Andes

It could be some kind of shallow-rooted grasses. A little to the south those features appear to separate into different colors. Though I think this unlikely because your location is in a concave part ...
Nautilaus's user avatar
1 vote

What are these features on Eldon Hill?

To complete Andy's answer: A History and Gazetteer of the Mines in the Liberty of Peak Forest, Derbyshire, (Heathcote, 2001), published in the bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
1 vote

Round structure in southern United States

It's the Black Belt Prairie. NASA's Earth Observatory featured it: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92321/black-belt-prairie
GeoNut's user avatar
  • 19

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