Norilsk is a major city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, and the northernmost city in Siberia. The city was founded in the 1930s as a settlement for the Norilsk mining-metallurgic complex, sitting near the largest nickel-copper-palladium deposits on Earth. Mining and smelting of nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, palladium are the major industries. The nickel ore is smelted on site at Norilsk. The smelting is directly responsible for severe pollution, generally acid rain and smog. By some estimates, 1 percent of the entire global emissions of sulfur dioxide comes from this one city. Heavy metal pollution near Norilsk is so severe that it is now economically feasible to mine the soil, which has been polluted so severely that it has economic grades of platinum and palladium.
The image was acquired July 21, 2000, covers an area of 36.9 x 37.6 km, and is located at 69.3 degrees north latitude, 88.2 degrees east longitude.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.