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Pennsylvania and Landsat

May 4, 2022

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania straddles an array of landscapes. From east to west, its 46,055 square miles connect the sea-level lowlands of the Atlantic seaboard with the rolling hills of the Midwest. It also acts as a bridge between regions from north to south, with the Appalachian Mountains swooping through its center from its northern border with New York to its southern borders with Maryland and West Virginia.

The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed in the Commonwealth’s largest city, Philadelphia, and it was the second of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution. The pivotal Civil War battle of Gettysburg took place in the southern part of Pennsylvania. Western Pennsylvania was an early hub for the coal, oil, and steel industries that fueled the Nation’s growth in the 20th century and still factor into Pennsylvania’s economy. The varied natural features of Pennsylvania have been an important proving ground for the value of satellite imagery from the USGS Landsat Program. Scientists began to lean on Landsat observations early in the program’s history to map the effect of invasive moths on Commonwealth forests. That activity continues to this day. Space-based imagery has also contributed to the study and management of land change from energy development, urban growth, and shifting land use patterns.

The Landsat Program’s unparalleled 50-year archive of repeat Earth observations remains a critical public resource for Pennsylvania as climate change and land use patterns present new challenges to land managers and urban planners in the Keystone State.

Here are just a few examples of how Landsat has benefited Pennsylvania.

Publication Year 2022
Title Pennsylvania and Landsat
DOI 10.3133/fs20223025
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2022-3025
Index ID fs20223025
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center