Astronauts on board the International Space Station ISS captured the alluvial fan of Taklimakan Desert, China.

Credit: NASA

An alluvial fan is a fan- or cone-shaped deposit of sediment crossed and built up by streams. Fans are typically found where a canyon draining from mountainous terrain emerges out onto a flatter plain, and especially along fault-bounded mountain fronts. The water flows into the desert from the snow-covered Kunlun Mountains to the south. The modern fan is 65km long, and its channels end in fields of dunes (For scale, the reservoir in the image is about 2km long).

The local scenery on the ground is as follows.

Credit: ScienceStruck

Reference: Alluvial Fan, Taklimakan Desert (NASA Earth Observatory)
See earthview photo gallery: LiVEARTH