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.
Sediment Deposit in the Grand Canyon, AZ
Comparing 2009 vs 2014 Bank surface after erosion, Grand Canyon AZ.
Did you know that plants can sometimes help us understand what is happening underground? Studying plants in an area can provide information about soil conditions, water availability, and water quality. In this photo, USGS Oregon Water Science Center hydrologist Brandon Overstreet is using a small unoccupied aircraft...
Sandy Brosnahan (left) and Ellizabeth Pendleton (right), Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pilots flying drones at Sandy Neck Beach, Cape Cod, MA.
USGS Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pilot, Elizabeth Pendleton, setting a target in Great Marsh, Sandy Neck Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pilots Sandy Brosnahan (left) and Elizabeth Pendleton conduct a drone flight from atop a dune at Sandy Neck (Cape Cod).
Map highlighting sampling locations of 339 Northern Spotted Owls used in Miller, et al, 2018
Image of scientist setting up a radar system in Colorado to test its efficacy in detecting birds and bats flying towards spinning wind turbines.
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center's Aerial Imaging and Mapping Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pilots, Emily Sturdivant (left) and Elizabeth Pendleton (right) working the night shift in Hawaii at the Kileaua volcano site.
Christina Ahlstrom holding a gull tagging with a satellite transmitter.
Woods Hole Costal and Marine Science Center staff offered a presentation and handouts on Natural Hazards and Coastal Hazards in Wetlands and Estuaries at the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs)
Woods Hole Costal and Marine Science Center staff offered a presentation and handouts on Natural Hazards and Coastal Hazards in Wetlands and Estuaries Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs)
An outcrop of blue quartz-bearing granite within the Roanoke Rapids terrane. Sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe U-Pb geochronology will precisely determine the age of this rock (conducted by the USGS-Stanford SHRIMP Lab in Menlo Park) and will provide critical geochronologic age control as a geologic framework model is developed and complied for the easternmost...
An outcrop of quartzite within the Roanoke Rapids terrane near Coleman Lake. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry U-Pb geochronology on detrital zircon grains within this unit (conducted by the USGS LA-ICPMS Lab in Denver) will provide critical and precise geochronologic age control as a geologic framework model is developed and compiled for the...
Staurolite weathering out of schist in the along the eastern edge of the Roanoke Rapids terrane in southeastern Virginia. Is this greenschist-facies schist part of the suprastructural Roanoke Rapids terrane, or part of a heretofore undefined higher-grade infrastructural terrane to the east?
Graphite schist from the Roanoke Rapids terrane in southeastern Virginia. Economic deposits of this critical mineral may exist in this relatively unexplored region, which has not been adequately mapped at scales larger than 1:250,000.
Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008
The Landsat archive has added its 8 millionth scene. This stunning image was captured by Landsat 8 on July 28, 2018. It shows the coastline of Nordaustlandet, the second-largest island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.
Diana McCandless of the Washington State Department of Ecology pauses for a moment, on the beach around the point and to the east of the mouth of Elwha River. McCandless is part of a team of scientists from WA State and the USGS who are periodically mapping the delta and beach areas near the mouth of the Elwha River. The scientists are monitoring how sediment is being...
Natural Bridges State Beach, shown here in the middle of the photo, is nestled amongst coastal neighborhoods in the southwestern part of Santa Cruz, California. View is looking south. The offices of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center are just a few hundred feet north, outside the bottom portion of the photograph.
USGS and Washington State Department of Ecology scientists are geared up and ready to start a topographic survey at the mouth of the Elwha River, using handheld computers and backpack-mounted GPS equipment. From left to right are Owen Warrick (USGS Volunteer), Jon Warrick (USGS), Andy Ritchie (USGS), Heather Weiner (WA State Dept. of Ecology), Diana McCandless (WA State...
Hydrologic technician Kammy Durham reading the elevation of a known reference point at streamgage 06404998, Grace Coolidge Creek near Game Lodge near Custer, SD. One step in ensuring consistent streamflow data is verifying that the reference elevation at the streamgage stays consistent and that any changes are documented. All of the USGS streamgages have multiple reference...
Student hydrologic technician Jackie Eldredge holding the rod over one of the known reference points at streamgage 06404998, Grace Coolidge Creek near Game Lodge near Custer, SD. One step in ensuring consistent streamflow data is verifying that the reference elevation at the streamgage stays consistent and that any changes are documented. All of the USGS streamgages have...
A Northern Fulmar on the water offshore of Anchor Point, Cook Inlet on July 18, 2018.
The above image is a rendering of a lidar-derived digital elevation model of a low relief stream channel and associated National Hydrography Dataset line features in central Iowa. The low topographic relief makes flow accumulation modeling of surface water difficult. The digital models are being used to measure the structure of stream channels in an attempt to identify...
The above image is a rendering of a lidar-derived digital surface model overlaying a digital elevation model of a forested stream channel in central Iowa. The vegetation makes optical identification of the presence of water in channels difficult. The digital models are being used to measure the structure of vegetation adjacent to channels in an attempt to identify features...
Time-lapse view of California Highway 1 reconstruction after 2017 landslide
USGS scientists produced an animated GIF in coordination with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) re-opening of State Highway 1 through Big Sur on July 18, 2018. In 2017, the massive Mud Creek landslide buried a quarter-mile of the famous coastal route...
Total saline water withdrawals by State, 2015
As the chart shows, the use of saline water, and freshwater, also, has been trending downward since peaking in 1980. Of interest, from 1950 to 1975 the use of saline water increased at a much higher rate than freshwater use.
Pie charts of saline-water withdrawals by category of use, 2015.
Two pie charts, showing total water withdrawals (fresh and saline), and saline water withdrawals, for certain categories of water use, for year 2015.
U.S. Federal Mapping Coordination site, managed by NOAA on the Seasketch platform. The site is used for federal agencies and their partners to collaborate on mapping data acquisition.
Northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) nestlings in Suisun Marsh, CA. Northern harriers are considered a "species of concern" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, due to their declining populations.
An adult, female northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) flies overhead in Suisun Marsh, CA. Before habitat loss drove declines in the bird's populations, Suisun Marsh hosted the state's largest population of northern harriers.
A Federally endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) climbs a branch.
Nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum. Agarose gel electrophoresis is used for size separation and visualization of amplified DNA sequences.