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.
Firefighters surrounded by clouds of smoke and dust of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson, U.S. Navy.
This true-color image was taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) sensor aboard the Landsat 7 satellite on September 12, 2001, at roughly 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. A day after the attack, smoke continues to billow out of the collapsed Twin Towers.
Looking northwest form Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site, north of Bismarck.
Looking northwest from double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site, north of Bismarck, ND.
Looking southwest form Double Ditch Indian Willage State Historic Site, north of Bismarck, ND.
Looking west from Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site, north of Bismarck, ND.
At 68 hours post fertilization, this laboratory produced sturgeon egg is about ready to hatch.
USGS regional research drill rig constructing sites near the south bank of the Truckee River just downstream of USGS 10350000 Truckee River at Vista. The wells were constructed to investigate surface water groundwater interaction.
The Lime Creek observation well in Rapid City, SD, is a flowing well where the shut-in pressure is measured. The well is completed in the Madison aquifer and is 1,391-feet deep.
The Limestone Plateau along the South Dakota-Wyoming border west of Custer, SD. Numerous headwater springs occur along the eastern edge of the Limestone Plateau. Large outcrops of the Madison Limestone and Minnelusa Formation form the plateau.
Headwater springflow is common in the Limestone Pateau area in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Most headwater springs in the Black Hills, like this one contributing to Rhoads Fork, generally occur near the base of the Madison Limestone along the eastern edge of the Limestone Plateau area.
Precambrian rocks in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Precambrian rocks form the central crystalline core of the Black Hills. Fracturing and weathering in Precambrian rocks affect the availability of water in this unit.
Outcrop of the Minneslua Formation at Ranch A near Beulah, Wyoming. The Minnelusa Formation consists mostly of yellow to red sandstone, limestone, dolomite, and shale.
Outcrop of the Madison Limestone in Spearfish Canyon in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. The Madison Limestone is a massive, gray to buff limestone with some dolomite.
Photograph taken in 2001 of an area burned by the Jasper Fire that started on August 24, 2000, just west of Jewel Cave in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. A total of about 84,000 acres was burned by the Jasper Fire.
Spearfish Formation near Spearfish, SD. The Spearfish Formation is a red, silty shale with interbedded red sandstone and siltstone. The formation contains massive gypsum deposits, which is the white layer in the photograph.
Photograph taken in 2001 of Mt. Coolidge area in Black Hills of western South Dakota. The area was burned by the Galena Fire in 1988, which burned approximately 17,000 acres in Custer State Park.
USGS shallow-water, automated, water-quality data-collection platform in Las Vegas Bay, Lake Mead.
An array of rocks with vegetation interspersed.
Ayers Rock (Uluru) and vegetation.
Looking down on a managed forest landscape in Oregon.
Snow covers the coniferous trees and low-lying vegetation on either side of a calm stream.
Snow covers the coniferous trees and low-lying vegetation on either side of a calm stream or river.
Polar bear mother and two cubs on the Beaufort Sea ice.
A bed of manganese nodules from deep offshore of the Cook Islands; photo sourced from Hein et al., 2015, taken during a Japanese research cruise in the year 2000. Nodules range from about 2 to 10 centimeters across.
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Landsat 7 captured this image of center-pivot irrigation (green circles) in the Saudi Arabian desert in 2000. Images taken of the same location over several decades show the explosive increase of irrigated land over time, as hidden reserves of water have been tapped beneath desert sands to grow grains, fruits, and vegetables.
USGS Scientist Kevin Kenow looks out over lake at dawn.
Conversions of grassland/shrubland and agriculture to developed land were two common land-cover changes in Southern and Central California Chaparral and Oak Woodlands Ecoregion.
Irrigation systems in Central California Valley Ecoregion: Single-field irrigation ditch.