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Utah and Landsat

April 26, 2022

Utah’s list of notable features runs long, but scenery rises to the top. The Colorado River does not simply run through southeastern Utah; it meanders through steep canyons of the eroded sedimentary rock that colors the sweeping vistas of the Colorado Plateau. Stone arches, spires, hoodoos, cliffs, and bridges in hues of red enchant residents and tourists. Mountain ranges extending through the State add dynamic views—and skiing opportunities.

The Great Salt Lake in northern Utah is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. The western part of Utah, including the Great Salt Lake, lies in the Great Basin, a multi-State drainage area with no outlet. Because the lake has no outlet to flush out any salt, evaporation produces a higher concentration of salts in the water or soils, called salinity. The lake lacks fish but supports algae and brine shrimp, and extensive wetlands around the lake attract millions of migratory birds.

Landsat imagery is useful for showing surface changes, such as the fluctuating water levels of the shallow Great Salt Lake. The lake flooded in the 1980s, but the southern part dropped to its lowest level in recorded history in 2021. Landsat data also can take a much deeper look at land and water conditions. Here are several ways Landsat benefits Utah.

Publication Year 2022
Title Utah and Landsat
DOI 10.3133/fs20223023
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2022-3023
Index ID fs20223023
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center