Year of 2017

An irrigation system in southern Egypt

From the orbital distance of the Landsat 8 USGS satellite, this center pivot irrigation field in southern Egypt looks like a set of push pins or some sort of abstract art. To the people who farm this arid portion of the eastern Sahara, the irrigation system is the difference between life and death. Each of the points seen here is a half-mile-wide pivot irrigation field, drawing water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, the largest known fossil water aquifer on Earth.

Center-pivot irrigation (sometimes called central pivot irrigation), also called waterwheel and circle irrigation, is a method of crop irrigation in which equipment rotates around a pivot and crops are watered with sprinklers. A circular area centered on the pivot is irrigated, often creating a circular pattern in crops when viewed from above (sometimes referred to as crop circles).