The dark green area with rectilinear boundaries is a protected park in South Australia. The lighter surrounding landscapes are occupied by angular farmlands, used primarily for commercial grains and sheep grazing. Within the park the spiked, fingerlike patterns are burnscars. The fires that caused the burnscars reduce the natural vegetation such that the light-colored dune sands beneath show through. Different seasons of scarring are evident from the fact that older scars are greener than the dominant newest scar, as the desert vegetation slowly recovers from the fires. The direction of the prevailing wind at the time of each fire can be inferred from the orientation of each scar. In this north-oriented photograph it seems that the winds blow dominantly toward the east and southeast. Most of the fires in the park are attributed to lightning strikes.
March 1994, image STS-62-92-85.