The Colorado River Landsat Image

Landsat image of the Colorado River changes resulting from excessive rain and drought in the Colorado River Basin.

Detailed Description

The Colorado River, which has its headwaters in the snowmelt of the Rocky Mountains, is 1,400 miles (2,253 km) long and empties into the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez). The river provides water for drinking, irrigation, electricity, industry, and recreation for seven U.S. and two Mexico states, serving more than 25 million people. Since the first water flow measurements began in the late 1800s, these two Landsat 5 images show the extremes of the record; 1985 was in the midst of record high flow, and 2007 followed the driest period on the Colorado River. Excessive rains or severe droughts directly change the available water in the Colorado River Basin, but so, too, does the increasing pressure of human needs throughout the western states. Landsat Image, USGS.


Image Dimensions: 1190 x 796

Date Taken: