This close-up view of deforestation in the state of Rondonia, Brazil, corresponds to a location in the lower portion of slide #20, but was taken on a different day. The dark green areas are Amazon rainforest and the light green areas are cleared lands. The main transportation route extends the length of this scene and secondary roads extend out roughly perpendicular from it and parallel to one another. The brighter area just right of center is a city located at an intersection of two main roads. Two smoke plumes rise where clearing of the land by slash-and-burn methods is taking place. Active deforestation occurs as clearing proceeds from the secondary roads into the rainforest. Eventually, plots from adjacent roads coalesce, and no rainforest will separate them. The relatively small plots of land being cleared in this manner produce a herringbone pattern. Observations of Rondonia over time show that significant amounts of land have been cleared in a matter of years. In fact, throughout much of Rondonia today the plots of cleared lands between secondary roads are linking up.
July–August 1992, image STS-46-78-22.