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.
Sampling for microplastics on Lake Mead, March 21, 2017
Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady, New York (01354330)
Landsat's shortwave infrared (SWIR) band measures reduced moisture content in soil and vegetation. When combined with its near-infrared (NIR) band, which helps reveal actively growing vegetation, Landsat produces highly accurate images and maps of burned areas.
Ice Jam Webcam image of Mohawk River at Stockade bridge, Schenectady
Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady (01354330) Live Ice Jam Web Camera
USGS hydrologic technician Michael Allen collects streamflow data from the Boise River at streamgage station 13206000 using an acoustic Doppler current profiler.
Exposed bedrock on the beach during very low (negative) tide at Isla Vista, California
Bedrock exposed at low tide along the beach at Isla Vista, California
Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach, very low (negative) tide
Exposed bedrock on the beach, below the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Installing large boulders as rip rap to armor the shore against further erosion at Goleta Beach in Southern California. The tide is very low (negative).
A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point.
U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Technician Patrick Anzman installs a new streamgage February 23 over the Schuylkill River in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk. Photo by Mason Manis, USGS.
February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.
Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith. This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a...
USGS Nebraska Water Science Center hydrologic technician, Nathan Shultz, collecting depth and velocity data at the USGS streamgaging station 06453600 Ponca Creek at Verdel, Nebraska during an ice jam on February 15, 2017.
Flood water on Carson River near Nevada Water Science Center Office.
Landsat 8’s shortwave infrared (SWIR) band is useful in viewing recent eruptions at Erta Ale volcano in northern Ethiopia near the Eritrea border. The volcano’s name means “smoking mountain,” and its southernmost vent is referred to as “the...
USGS staff gage (ruler) measuring the height of the water, on the Carson River, near Brunswick Canyon, Nevada.
Photo of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intern showing elementary students how to paint a Caspian tern decoy. Scientists from the USFWS and USGS Western Ecological Research Center are using these decoys to draw Caspian terns to restored habitat in the South San Francisco Bay.
Photo of two students painting a lifelike Caspian tern decoy. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey visited an elementary school to teach students about their scientific studies on waterbirds in the South San Francisco Bay.
Photo of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service environmental education specialist Genie Moore with a student. The USGS Western Ecological Research Center and USFWS collaborated to host an outreach event at a California elementary school. Students painted lifelike models of Caspian terns for a USGS/...
Streamgaging on Martin Creek, near Paradise Valley, Nevada.
Among countries with accelerated rates of deforestation—Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Uruguay, and Paraguay among them—Cambodia ranks above them all with an annual loss of 14.4 percent of its forests between 2001 and 2014, according to researchers at the University of Maryland, who used Landsat data...
Wildfires fueled by dry conditions, high temperatures, and strong winds are scorching central Chile at a level Chilean officials say they haven’t seen in decades. Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) mosaics on the left from January 24...
Bear predation on salmon can be high in many Alaskan rivers. Brown bears Ursus arctos and Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta are managed concurrently in McNeil River State Game Sanctuary by Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game to benefit the salmon, bears, commercial fishers, and provide unparalleled close...
"Lab in a Suitcase" set up in the field to test samples for the fungus (Ceratocystis fimbriata) responsible for Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.
USGS scientists setting up a lidar scanner on the pier to map the beach near Capitola, California.
USGS scientist Daniel Hoover mapping the beach at Santa Cruz with a GPS-equipped backpack unit.
A sonar-equipped personal watercraft mapping the bathymetry underwater near Santa Cruz, Calif.
USGS scientists readying a sonar-equipped boat to map the ocean bottom near Santa Cruz, Calif.
Exploratory well drilling on Long Island to study the effective management of Long Island’s groundwater resources
The drilling will better define the aquifer system, track saltwater encroachment, and inform a new groundwater-flow model for the Island. Knowledge of the...
A decade of drought in California has eased after the first month of 2017 thanks to heavy rains and snow, a fact that Landsat images are helping to confirm.
Drilling exploratory wells on Long Island
Drill rig on Long Island, NY
Landsat 8 image of Erte Ale, Ethiopian volcano, erupting in late January 2017
This Indian Space Research Organization LISS-3 image of the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay region, acquired on January 25, 2017, shows the landscape along the densely populated U.S. East coast. Ecosystems and sea-level rise are among the regional landscape changes that satellite imagery helps...
Analysis of shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano due to eruptive activity between January 11 and 24, 2017. The base image is a Worldview-2 satellite image collected on January 24, 2017. The approximate location of the shoreline on January 11, 2017 is shown by the dashed orange line.
Hydrologist Ryan McCutcheon and student Aurelia Mitchell recently trekked up into the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico to collect snow data as part of an ongoing hydrologic study in the East Mountains, conducted in cooperation with the Bernalillo County Public Works Division. They...
Student Aurelia Mitchell recently trekked up into the Sandia Mountains to collect snow data as part of an ongoing hydrologic study in the East Mountains, conducted in cooperation with the Bernalillo County Public Works Division. They measured the depth and density of the snow in several...
Heavy rains in late December 2016 and early January 2017 are affecting soybean production in Argentina's bread-basket provinces while impacting soy prices worldwide.
Hydrologic Technician, James Albrecht, from the North Platte Field Office making a measurement of discharge under ice using a Flowtracker acoustic velocity meter on a top-setting wading rod. The string going across the picture is a tagline, used for measuring distance across the channel so that...
The Molecular Ecology Lab at the Fort Collins Science Center
Annotated photograph of Bogoslof Island showing the cumulative effects of 2016-17 eruptive activity. A layer of fine muddy appearing ash drapes most of the landscape and covers pre-existing vegetation. The dashed line indicates the area excavated by explosive eruptive activity so far. A...
A U.S. Geological Survey field crew uses an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to measure water velocity on the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.
An atmospheric river, or narrow band of moisture moving from the tropics to the higher latitudes, hit California in early January and brought the first heavy rains of 2017. While these storms help a drought-stricken state, the onslaught of rain triggers floods and mudslides, and fills rising...
Since mid-December 2016, roughly two dozen wildfires in the Pampas region of Argentina have consumed almost 2.5 million acres while unleashing giant plumes of dense smoke above the rural landscapes.
Likely caused by thunderstorms that followed a stretch of severe drought in the winter and...