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Mapping water use—Landsat and water resources in the United States

June 27, 2016

Using Landsat satellite data, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have helped to refine a technique called evapotranspiration mapping to measure how much water crops are using across landscapes and through time. These water-use maps are created using a computer model that integrates Landsat and weather data.

Crucial to the process is the thermal (infrared) band from Landsat. Using the Landsat thermal band with its 100-meter resolution, water-use maps can be created at a scale detailed enough to show how much water crops are using at the level of individual fields anywhere in the world. 

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