A Satellite View of Tennessee's Kingston Fossil Plant, Before and After the Toxic Spill

As you've probably heard, a containment area for toxic fly ash (a byproduct of fossil fuel production) burst open last month in Tennessee, U.S. As a result, 1.3 million cubic meters of ash slurry oozed over the countryside, covering homes and getting into local rivers. NASA's Landsat 5 satellite captured these images before and after the event. Above, you can see the area in November, before the spill. Dark blue water is unpolluted; pale blue water contains sediment.

Below is the area soon after the breach. You can see the rivers around the area are pale blue, full of the toxic slurry. And the landscape itself around the plant are blackened by the ash.

A Satellite View of Tennessee's Kingston Fossil Plant, Before and After the Toxic Spill

SOURCE: NASA Earth Observatory