Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center


At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change and produce land change data products used by researchers, resource managers, and policy makers across the nation and around the world. We also operate the Landsat satellite program with NASA, and maintain the largest civilian collection of images of the Earth’s land surface in existence, including tens of millions of satellite images. 

What's New at EROS?


Eyes on Earth is a podcast covering a range of topics on remote sensing, satellite operations, and the science of Earth observation. Watch for new episodes every two weeks.

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Image of the Week

Image of the Week

Spring has come earlier than normal in many parts of the U.S., with some areas seeing their earliest blooms in nearly 40 years. Landsat's red and near infrared bands can be used to highlight the change. 

Early Spring


Date published: March 23, 2020

Mapping Near-Surface Permafrost: EROS Work Important for Studying Arctic

Imagine, Neal Pastick says, if the infrastructure under your house disappeared. If the concrete forms or block basement walls disintegrated over time, and your house collapsed. That’s an apt analogy, Pastick says, to what’s happening with the degradation of permafrost in Alaska today.

Date published: March 19, 2020

LCMAP Promises New Insight on Land Surface Change

Landsat satellite imagery has been a boon to the study of the Earth’s surface for nearly five decades, but researchers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center have only recently begun to tap into the full potential of its long historical record.

Date published: March 18, 2020

Landsat Science Team Briefed on Landsat 9 Development, Landsat 7 End of Life, and More

Landsat Science Team (LST) members meeting in early February in Phoenix, AZ, were briefed or provided input on a number of important issues involving the Landsat program—everything from updates on Landsat 9 development to the implications of Landsat 7’s orbit change.


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Year Published: 2020

Conterminous United States land cover change patterns 2001–2016 from the 2016 National Land Cover Database

The 2016 National Land Cover Database (NLCD) product suite (available on, includes Landsat-based, 30 m resolution products over the conterminous (CONUS) United States (U.S.) for land cover, urban imperviousness, and tree, shrub, herbaceous and bare ground fractional percentages. The release of NLCD 2016 provides important new...

Homer, Collin G.; Dewitz, Jon; Jin, Suming; Xian, George Z.; Costello, Catherine; Danielson, Patrick; Gass, Leila; Funk, Michelle; Wickham, James; Stehman, Steven; Auch, Roger F.; Riitters, Kurt H.

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Year Published: 2020

Characterizing land surface phenology and exotic annual grasses in dryland ecosystems using Landsat and Sentinel-2 data in harmony

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), have proliferated in dryland ecosystems of the western United States, promoting increased fire activity and reduced biodiversity that can be detrimental to socio-environmental systems. Monitoring exotic annual grass cover and dynamics over large areas requires the use of remote...

Pastick, Neal; Dahal, Devendra; Wylie, Bruce K.; Parajuli, Sujan; Boyte, Stephen P.; Wu, Zhuoting

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Year Published: 2020

The NASA hydrological forecast system for food and water security applications

Many regions in Africa and the Middle East are vulnerable to drought and to water and food insecurity, motivating agency efforts such as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) to provide early warning of drought events in the region. Each year these warnings guide life-saving...

Arsenault, Kristi; Shukla, Shraddhanand; Hazra, Abheera; Getirana, Agusto; McNally, Amy; Kumar, Sujay; Koster, Randal; Peters-Lidard, Christa; Zaitchik, Ben; Badr, Hamada; Jung, Hahn Chul; Narapusetty, Bala; Navari, Mahdi; Wang, Shugong; Mocko, David M.; Funk, Chris; Harrison, Laura; Husak, Gregory J.; Adoum, Alkhalil; Galu, Gideon; Magadzire, Tamuka; Roningen, Jeanne; Shaw, Michael J.; Eylander, John; Bergaoui, Karim; McDonnell, Rachael A.; Verdin, James