Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Nevada and Landsat

Detailed Description

Nevada’s geography is colorful—and contradictory. As one of the most mountainous States, Nevada shares the country’s second-deepest lake, Lake Tahoe, with neighboring California. It is also the driest State and largely covered by desert. Northern Nevada has long, cold winters, whereas the south has long, hot summers. It is the seventh-largest State, but it ranks in the bottom one-half of States for population. More than 72 percent of its 3.1 million residents live in the Las Vegas area.

In Nevada, the desert is not dull. An extraordinary variety of wildflowers bloom in the spring, and other plants include mesquite, cacti, creosote, and yucca such as Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia). Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is more than the State flower; it is a hardy, enduring shrub foundational to a vast ecosystem in the Great Basin that feeds and shelters hundreds of wildlife species. The Silver State has a strong mining tradition, and agriculture centers around livestock ranching and irrigated crops. Although mining and agriculture once formed the base of Nevada’s economy, tourism now leads the way, mostly from gambling and entertainment in Las Vegas, Reno, and other cities. Water is a critical resource for supporting residents, visitors, and industries, and Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam on the Colorado River supplies most of it for southern Nevada.

Nevada has significant natural resources, but they face threats—especially in a warming climate—that Landsat can help address.

Visit Landsat Benefits, State By State to learn more about how Landsat brings science to your state.


Public Domain.