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A centuries-old settlement that now ranks among the world's largest, Pakistan's seaport city of Karachi mixes intense urbanization with remnants of a natural environment. This true-color satellite image of Karachi shows the southwestern edges of the city.
Two rivers, the Lyari and Malir, pass through Karachi en route to the Arabian Sea. The Lyari River passes north of the Port of Karachi, and expansive salt works, appearing as large geometric areas of green, line the northern edge of that river's delta. East of the port, the Malir River flows southward toward the sea.
Between the port and the Arabian Sea, a barrier island runs northwest-southeast (left edge of the image). East of this island and west of the port sits a large expanse of water and mangroves. Water in the Lyari River Delta must empty into the sea through the Baba Channel. Sediment colors the water flowing through that channel a lighter color than the surrounding ocean. Immediately east of the Port of Karachi lie two more mangroves, the larger of which is named Chinna Creek.
Many of Karachi's oldest structures and most popular tourist attractions appear in the city center just northeast of the port, but street grids cover almost all of the available land outside of the mangroves. Photo courtesy of NASA.