Explore our planet through photography and imagery, including climate change and water all the way back to the 1800s when the USGS was surveying the country by horse and buggy.
Land subsidence in California - Approximate location of maximum subsidence in the United States identified by research efforts of Dr. Joseph F. Poland (pictured). Signs on pole show approximate altitude of land surface in 1925, 1955, and 1977. The site is in the San Joaquin Valley southwest of Mendota, California.
This photo shows the approximate location of maximum...
This image shows blue spheres representing relative amounts of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. Are you surprised that these water spheres look so small? They are only small in relation to the size of the Earth. These images attempt to show three dimensions, so each sphere represents "volume." They show that in comparison to the volume of the globe, the amount of water on...
Grinnell Glacier from Lake Josephine 2008 in color.
USGS geologists gathered samples by hand from vents on the dome and crater floor. Additionally, sulfur dioxide gas was measured from a specially equipped airplane before, during, and after eruptions to determine "emission rates" for the volcano.
Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska. 1967, Unknown USGS photographer. 2016, L. Sass, USGS.
Repeat oblique photographs of Wolverine glacier in Alaska. 1966 image by unknown USGS photographer; 2015 image by L. Sass, USGS.
A historical image of visitors and bears in Yellowstone National Park.
Hauling drinking water from Upper St. Mary’s Lake, Glacier National Park, 1913. Photograph by Richard B. Dole, U.S. Geological Survey
Forsythe Peak and Dorothy Lake, Yosemite National Park, 1913. Photograph by Richard B. Dole, U.S. Geological Survey
Image scan of a historical bird migration card (1904). This is just an example of the more than 6 million handwritten cards stored in government files, in the North American Bird Phenology Progam, with more than a century of information about bird migration, a veritable treasure trove for climate-change researchers because they will help them unravel the effects of climate change on bird...
USGS laboratory in Washington DC where water samples 1883-87 from Yellowstone National Park were analyzed. Photograph, USGS Historical Photography Library.
Old Faithful Geyser in Upper Geyser Basin. 1878(?). Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (Hayden Survey).