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. 

Eyes on Earth

Eyes on Earth

The first in our series on the Landsat 9 launch features interviews with officials from various agencies on the value of the Landsat program.  

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Image of the Week

Image of the Week

Fissures opened on the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Sept. 19, 2021, marking its first eruption since 1971. Our latest video offers Landsat 8's view of the volcanic activity. 

La Palma


Date published: October 20, 2021

Landsat 9 Galleries: Launch Week

Santa Barbara County, CA, became a hub of Landsat activity in the last week of September 2021. That’s the week Landsat 9 launched into orbit on board an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Date published: October 4, 2021

Drones, Mirrors, Gear Galore—Welcome to a Satellite Validation Event

An invasion of sorts took place recently in an alfalfa field in northeastern Brookings, SD.

It wasn’t an invasion of unwanted species—though it does ultimately help monitor environmental issues. Rather, the field bustled with drones in the air, angled panels of mirrors and pools of water on the ground, and people roaming the field with gear and wands.

Date published: October 1, 2021

Landsat 9 Reaches Orbit, Makes Ground Contact to Continue Legacy

Landsat 9 is functioning as expected after its successful launch at 1:12 p.m. CT Monday, Sept. 27, from Vandenberg Space Force Base to join its two predecessors in orbit.

The Earth-observing satellite separated from the Atlas V rocket at 2:34 p.m. and made contact about 80 minutes later with the ground station at Svalbard, Norway.


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Year Published: 2021

A comparison of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Provisional Aquatic Reflectance science product, Sentinel–2B, and WorldView–3 imagery for empirical satellite-derived bathymetry, Unalakleet, Alaska

Satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB) based upon an empirical band ratio method is a cost-effective means for mapping nearshore bathymetry in coastal areas vulnerable to natural hazards. This is particularly important for the low-lying coastal community of Unalakleet, Alaska, that has been negatively affected not only by flooding, storm surge, and...

Poppenga, Sandra K.; Danielson, Jeffrey J.
Poppenga, S.K., and Danielson, J.J., 2021, A comparison of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Provisional Aquatic Reflectance science product, Sentinel–2B, and WorldView–3 imagery for empirical satellite-derived bathymetry, Unalakleet, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5097, 15 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Impact of spectral resolution on quantifying cyanobacteria in lakes and reservoirs: A machine-learning assessment

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms are an increasing threat to coastal and inland waters. These blooms can be detected using optical radiometers due to the presence of phycocyanin (PC) pigments. The spectral resolution of best-available multispectral sensors limits their ability to diagnostically detect PC in the presence of other photosynthetic...

Zolfaghari, Kiana; Pahlevan, Nima; Binding, Caren; Gurlin, Daniela; Simis, Stefan G.H.; Verdú, Antonio Ruiz; Li, Lin; Crawford, Christopher J.; VanderWoude, Andrea; Errera, Reagan; Zastepa, Arthur; Duguay, Claude R.

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Year Published: 2021

The climate envelope of Alaska’s northern treelines: Implications for controlling factors and future treeline advance

Understanding the key mechanisms that control northern treelines is important to accurately predict biome shifts and terrestrial feedbacks to climate. At a global scale, it has long been observed that elevational and latitudinal treelines occur at similar mean growing season air temperature (GSAT) isotherms, inspiring the growth limitation...

Maher, Colin T.; Dial, Roman J.; Pastick, Neal J; Hewitt, Rebecca E.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Sullivan, Patrick F.