Mount Kenya is an ancient extinct volcano. During its period of activity (3.1–2.6 million years ago) it is thought to have risen to 6,500 metres (it is now 5,200 metres high). There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks located at the head of U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged, glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution of its afro-alpine flora also provides an outstanding example of ecological processes. In this false-colour image information from the near-infrared range was used to distinguish vegetation types. Different green values indicate altitude-dependent vegetation zones. The sparse snowfields on the peak are turquoise. With long-term and wide-area monitoring by Earth observation satellites, glacier development can be documented objectively and continuously.
The image was taken on 21 February 2000 by the satellite Landsat-7 / ETM+ and has a resolution of 30 metres. It covers an area of 80 by 160 kilometres.