National Land Imaging Program

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January 29, 2021

Image of the Week: Glacial Retreat Fills Alaska Lake

The visible impact of climate change on the Earth’s surface is often clearest in the Arctic’s receding glaciers and swelling glacial lakes. Southeastern Alaska’s Harlequin Lake is one of the fastest-growing in North America. These false color Landsat images show the rapidly-retreating Yakutat Glacier, which feeds the lake. Landsat can be used to illustrate the lake’s

Color photo of Dr. Alan Belward with the graphic for the USGS EROS podcast "Eyes on Earth"
January 26, 2021

Eyes on Earth Episode 44 – Landsat Water Atlas

Dr. Alan Belward has spent a lot of time thinking about the planet’s surface water. The former Landsat Science Team member uses satellite data to track changes to lakes, rivers, and streams, and recently published a book that uses Landsat data to tell some of those stories. In this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about some of the surprising things Belward and his team

January 21, 2021

Image of the Week - 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

On December 26th, 2004, a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The third largest earthquake ever recorded lifted the sea floor several meters, causing tsunami waves to ripple out in all directions and race across the ocean. Banda Aceh bore the brunt of the waves just 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake. Waves in some

Color photo of Roy Sando with graphic for USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
January 6, 2021

Eyes on Earth Episode 43 - U.S.-Canada Water Use

The St. Mary and Milk Rivers cross the U.S. and Canadian border and supply water to both countries. Managing that resource in the interest of both nations is a matter of international collaboration and cooperation, and Landsat data is helping offer objective information on water use. On today’s episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear from Roy Sando of the USGS, who’s working

January 4, 2021

Image of the Week - Fires Tear Through Former Cane Fields

The waves of sugar cane that once defined the Hawaiian island landscape of Maui, have slowly given way to non-native annual grasses in recent decades. Those grasses have become a fire hazard along the way.

The closure of central Maui's last large cane mill in 2016 opened up some 36,000 acres for new growth. Some of those acres burned in 2019 during one of the island

Color photo of Dr. Crystal Schaaf with the graphic for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes on Earth
December 17, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 41 – Albedo

Albedo—the amount of incoming solar radiation reflected into space from the Earth’s surface—is a key measurement for surface temperatures and plant productivity. It also factors into weather forecasting and climate modeling. Landsat Science Team member Dr. Crystal Schaaf works with graduate and postdoctoral students to measure albedo using satellite data from the

December 15, 2020

Value of Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, Projection Collection 1

The USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) Initiative scientist Jennifer Rover offers examples of LCMAP Science Product uses at the 2020 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Winter Meeting.
 

Color satellite image, with photos of Chris Barnes and Chris Barber and the Eyes on Earth podcast logo
December 14, 2020

Eyes on Earth Episode 40 – Landsat Collection 2

Landsat data is more useful today than at any other point in its nearly 50-year history. The USGS Collections strategy is a major reason why. Landsat Collections align and correct satellite acquisitions from 1972 through the present to make the data easier to work with through time. The USGS has now released Collection 2, an upgrade that improves geometric accuracy,

December 9, 2020

Image of the Week - Dam Failure in Uzbekistan

The western wall of Uzbekistan's Sardoba Reservoir breached on May 1st, 2020 after a week of heavy rain. Thousands were evacuated as water rushed north into farmland and villages across the central Asian country and into neighboring Kazakhstan. Imagery from Europe's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite shows water pooling across a wide area. In the May 4th image 3 days after

November 20, 2020

Using Landsat and Machine Learning to Map Urban Change

Social scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center – in collaboration with the USGS National Land Imaging Program – conduct Earth observation user case studies using qualitative research methods. Using standard scientific methods, they are better able to understand the variety of Earth observation users, including how they use and value

November 20, 2020

Earth Observation User Case Study: Ladies of Landsat

Social scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center – in collaboration with the USGS National Land Imaging Program – conduct Earth observation user case studies using qualitative research methods. Using standard scientific methods, they are better able to understand the variety of Earth observation users, including how they use and value

November 18, 2020

Image of the Week - Petermann Glacier 2020 Update

Petermann Glacier in northwestern Greenland is known to generate large icebergs, most notably in 2010 and 2012. Another large iceberg may be forming now. A new rift was spotted on the glacier in 2017. Since then, imagery from both Landsat and Europe's Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites show the rift lengthening and meeting up with and older crack. The potential iceberg could