Mission Areas

Land Resources

Understanding a changing world and how it affects our natural resources, livelihoods, and communities. Science plays an essential role in helping communities and resource managers understand the local to global implications of change, anticipate the effects of change, prepare for change, and reduce the risks associated with decisionmaking in a changing environment.

EROS Center

EROS Center

The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is responsible for satellite operations, including Landsat, and performs image data collection, archiving, processing, and distribution.

Explore EROS



The biologic carbon sequestration assessment program (LandCarbon) studies ecosystem carbon cycle research topics, investigates carbon management science needs, and develops monitoring methods.

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Data and Tools

Land Resources supports the science community with its long-term observational networks and extensive databases encompassing the fields of climate history, land-use and land-cover change, and carbon and nutrient cycles.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

Data Discovery

Global Ecosystems

National Climate Change Viewer

National Land Cover Database

Image Collections


Date published: January 8, 2020

Space Debris Remains Ongoing Concern for Landsat, Other Satellites

Space, it turns out, can be a messy place.

Sixty years of manned and unmanned space flight have left a cosmic junkyard circling the planet. From spent boosters to the detritus of defunct satellites, collisions, and explosions, there are countless potential cataclysms waiting to happen as space debris travels at relative velocities approaching 18,000 miles per hour.

Date published: January 2, 2020

AVHRR Played Key Role in Influencing Trajectory of EROS Science

A few months back, in the fall of 2019, a handful of current and former staffers from the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center met at a gathering spot in Sioux Falls to remember an old friend.

Date published: December 24, 2019

A Decade from Above: Landsat Imagery from the 2010s

Another decade has come and gone.

The decade of the 2010s was a monumental one for the Landsat program, marking the first full decade of free and open data, the launch of Landsat 8, the release of...


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Year Published: 2019

1200 years of Upper Missouri River streamflow reconstructed from tree rings

Paleohydrologic records can provide unique, long-term perspectives on streamflow variability and hydroclimate for use in water resource planning. Such long-term records can also play a key role in placing both present day events and projected future conditions into a broader context than that offered by instrumental observations. However,...

Martin, Justin; Pederson, Gregory T.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Cook, Edward R; McCabe, Gregory J.; Wise, Erika K.; Erger, Patrick; Dolan, Larry; McGuire, Marketa; Gangopadhyay, Subhrendu; Chase, Katherine J.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Gray, Stephen; St. George, Scott; Friedman, Jonathan M.; Sauchyn, David J.; St. Jacques, Jannine; King, John W.

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Year Published: 2019

Evaluating k-nearest neighbor (kNN) imputation models for species-level aboveground forest biomass mapping in northeast China

Quantifying spatially explicit or pixel-level aboveground forest biomass (AFB) across large regions is critical for measuring forest carbon sequestration capacity, assessing forest carbon balance, and revealing changes in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. When AFB is measured at the species level using widely available remote...

Fu, Yuanyuan; He, Hong S; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Henne, Paul D.; Zhu, Zhiliang; Larsen, David R.

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Year Published: 2019

Quantifying trends and uncertainty in prehistoric forest composition

Forest ecosystems in eastern North America were in flux over the last several thousand years, well before Euro-American land clearance and the 20th-century onset of anthropogenic climate change. However, the magnitude and uncertainty of prehistoric vegetation change have been difficult to quantify because of the multiple ecological, dispersal, and...

Andria Dawson; Christopher J. Paciorek; Simon Goring; Jackson, Stephen; Jason S. McLachlan; John W. Williams