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

This summer in central India, a mystery in color emerged. In the space of just days, the surface of Lonar Lake turned bright pink, then returned to green.

Blushing Lake


Date published: August 4, 2020

Research Grade Evaluation Offers Path to Advancement, Scientific Leadership

Scientific research, development, and operations meant to help manage Earth’s natural resources are the bread and butter of work done at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

Date published: August 4, 2020

Organizational Science and the Role of Research and Development

This is the first of a two-part series on the role of Research Grade Evaluation (RGE) scientists at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

Date published: July 29, 2020

LANDFIRE Remap Marks Major Improvements for Essential Resource Management Dataset

Rick Stratton of the USDA Forest Service remembers life before LANDFIRE.

A fire would ignite, setting Stratton and his fellow fire analysts to work gathering data on slope, elevation, weather conditions and vegetation types in hopes of modeling where the fire might go and how large it might get.


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Year Published: 2020

Application of empirical land-cover changes to construct climate change scenarios in federally managed lands

Sagebrush-dominant ecosystems in the western United States are highly vulnerable to climatic variability. To understand how these ecosystems will respond under potential future conditions, we correlated changes in National Land Cover Dataset “Back-in-Time” fractional cover maps from 1985-2018 with Daymet climate data in three federally managed...

Soulard, Christopher E.; Rigge, Matthew B.

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Year Published: 2020

Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011

The causes of land change from 2001 through 2011 for the Interior Highlands region of the south-central United States were assessed using satellite imagery, historical land-use and land-cover data, and digital orthophotos. The study was designed to develop improved regional land-use and land-cover change information, including identification of...

Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; McBeth, Jamie L.; Auch, Roger F.; Taylor, Janis L.; Riegle, Jodi L.
Drummond, M.A., Stier, M.P., McBeth, J.L., Auch, R.F., Taylor, J.L., and Riegle, J.L., 2020, Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1127, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2020

Changes to Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity Program’s production procedures and data products

The Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) program has been providing the fire science community with large fire perimeter and burn severity data for the past 14 years. As of October 2019, 22 969 fires have been mapped by the MTBS program and are available on the MTBS website ( These data have been widely used by...

Picotte, Joshua J.; Bhattarai, Krishna P.; Howard, Daniel; Lecker, Jennifer; Epting, Justin; Quayle, Brad; Benson, Nate; Nelson, Kurtis