Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A photo of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) taken by Lance Brady (NUSO)

Detailed Description

Please don’t walk on the biocrust!

A photo of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) taken by Lance Brady (NUSO) during a cooperative USGS NUSO, USGS Canyonlands Research Center, USGS Western Geographic Science Center, and the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment biocrust remote sensing and field data project near Moab, Utah.  Biocrusts are made up of organisms that help with maintaining soil moisture and providing for soil stability. Biocrusts are common in arid landscapes and are very fragile needing numerous years to recover after they are disturbed.  The micro topographic features of these specific crusts are from winter freeze/thaw cycles. NUSO collected a series of true-color, thermal, multispectral, and hyperspectral UAS data to enable cross-scale observations of biocrust presence, composition, and behavior changes in response to climate change.


Public Domain.