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.
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.
Aerial view of Kapoho Crater looking toward the south-southeast. Part of the lava channelbecame blocked just upstream of Kapoho Crater yesterday, diverting flows to the west and then south around the crater (center right). Lava exiting a crusted section of the channel continued flowing in the channel pathway (lower center to left).
Fissure 8 and a full lava channel as seen during HVO's early morning overflight. The visible road is Nohea Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision. Steam generated from heated rain water rose from the...
During HVO's morning overflight today, the dramatic difference in landscapes on the northern and southern sides of the fissure 8 lava channel was readily apparent. With dominant trade winds blowing heat and volcanic gases to the southwest, the north side of the lava channel remains verdant, while, in stark contrast, vegetation on the south side has been severely impacted...
Fissure 8 and Leilani Estates viewed from the south. Houses in the foreground are located in the southern portion of Leilani Estates. Fissure 8 and surrounding...
Southern end of the active fissure 8 flow margin north of the Analannui Park, known as the warm ponds. The flow margin is estimated to be about 500 m (0.3 mi) from the park.
USGS oceanographer Shawn Harrison poses in front of the USGS video camera installation atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska.
Landsat sensor technology has come a long way since the days of the Return Beam Vidicon cameras on the first three Landsat satellites. Known as the RBV, it was originally intended to be the satellites’ primary sensor. But the Multispectral Scanner, or MSS, became the more stable and superior instrument.
This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the...
View of the partially filled Kapoho Crater (center) and the open lava channel where it makes a 90-degree turn around the crater. The open channel no longer directly enters the ocean. Lava flows freely through the channel only to the southern edge of Kapoho Crater (left side of image). Clearly, lava moves into and through the molten core of the thick ‘a‘ā flow across a...
Braided section of the lava channel located "downstream" between about 3.5 to 6 km (2.2 to 3.7 mi) from fissure 8 (upper right). The width of the two channels in the middle center is about 325 m (1,065 ft). View is toward the southwest.
Lava still oozes from the northern edge of the ‘a‘ā flow near the lighthouse at Cape Kumukahi (upper right). Smoke from burning vegetation marks location of lava oozeouts. View is toward the northeast.
USGS oceanographer Li Erikson speaks at a community outreach event on Barter Island, Alaska, to present results from earlier USGS studies and to discuss ongoing USGS research.
For several years, a special ultraviolet camera has been located near Keanakākoʻi Crater at Kīlauea's summit. The camera was capable of detecting SO2 gas coming from Halema‘uma‘u crater. This morning, the camera was removed because there is very little SO2 to measure these days at the summit. In addition, cracking near Keanakākoʻi Crater was making access difficult....
The WorldView-3 satellite acquired this view of Kīlauea's summit on July 3. Despite a few clouds, the area of heaviest fractures in the caldera is clear. Views into the expanding Halema‘uma‘u crater reveal a pit floored by rubble. HVO, on the northwest caldera rim, is labeled.
This device, called a Raspberry Shake, is a sensitive instrument used to detect ground shaking. It is being carefully buried in this shallow hole in the tundra, to isolate it from wind.
USGS scientist Cordell Johnson points to the Raspberry Shake, a sensitive instrument used to detect ground shaking. Johnson mounted the Raspberry Shake to an aluminum pole which he will then drive into the ground to bury the instrument beneath the tundra. This process will help isolate it from the wind.
Greg Walsh using digital geologic mapping technics to measure fault in Champlaign Valley, NY