Mission Areas

Earth Resources Observation and Science Center

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The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center's mission is to document and analyze changes to the Earth’s land areas, across our nation and around the world. To study land change, EROS researchers utilize a vast database of images of the Earth’s surface, including those acquired by Landsat satellites.

Explore EROS

Science at EROS

Science at EROS

EROS scientists use Landsat satellite imagery and other earth-observation data to study land change through time and to assess the impacts of land change regionally, nationally, and globally.

EROS Science

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

EROS maintains the largest, continuous, civilian record of the Earth's land areas in the form of satellite images and other types of remotely sensed data that are fundamental to land change research. We acquire thousands of new images every day.

Imagery & More

Find Data

Find Data

Millions of satellite images, aerial photos, and other types of remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas are available from EROS--easy to search for and download with user-friendly tools. Most are available free of charge.

Data & Tools

News

GEOS-13 Image of Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose
November 20, 2017

Free and rapid imagery was provided through the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System.

Artist concept of Landsat 8
November 15, 2017

Two awardees have been presented with the 2017 William T. Pecora Award for achievements in Earth remote sensing. 

Landsat Analysis Ready Data
November 8, 2017

Improvements to the quality and usability of Landsat satellite data have been made with the release of a new USGS product called Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD). 

Since 1972, EROS has become synonymous with remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's land areas, cutting-edge research as to how landscapes are changing over time, and analyses of the impacts land change is having on both the planet and its people.

EROS Land Change Research & Applications
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Pecora 20 content list thumbnail
Date Published: March 22, 2017

The 20th William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium, with the theme “Observing a Changing Earth: Science for Decisions…Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection,” will be held November 14-16, 2017, in Sioux Falls, SD. The deadline for submitting abstracts and nominations for the William T. Pecora Award is June 1, 2017.

A cabin along Alaska's Arctic coast was recently washed into the ocean because the bluff it was sitting on eroded away.
Date Published: April 15, 2016

Ever-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have led to a rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature, which in turn is driving climate change on local, regional, and global scales. At EROS, we are working to better understand the impact of a changing climate on ecological systems, natural resources, coastlines, biogeochemical cycles, and human activities.

Center Pivot Western Geographic
Date Published: April 15, 2016

How do changes in land cover and land use affect agriculture, ecosystems, wildlife, resources, and human communities in the U.S. and around the world? Scientists with the EROS Landscape Dynamics project use satellite imagery and other types of data to answer those and many more questions about land change and its impacts.

Littoral explosion sends incandescent lava fragments skyward at Kīlauea Volcanoʻs ocean entry, Hawaiʻi
Date Published: April 15, 2016

Earthquakes. Famines. Floods. Volcanic eruptions. Sound science is key to assessing, preparing for, and mitigating these and other hazards. EROS provides satellite imagery and other essential remotely sensed data for monitoring drought and wildfire risks, forecasting floods and famines, aiding in disaster relief, and studying threats to human health.

Landsat 8, 2015, Las Vegas
Date Published: April 13, 2016

The Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence is a research and educational collaboration between USGS EROS and South Dakota State University that develops and applies geospatial technologies such as remote sensing, modeling, and geographic information systems to monitor and analyze land change.

EROS scientists work with Afghans on water issues
Date Published: April 13, 2016

In countries around the world, EROS trains scientists, engineers, and land managers in the use of remotely sensed data, and collaborates on projects focused on sustainable development, natural resource management, land cover change, flood monitoring, and early warning systems for drought, famine, and infectious disease.

EROS offers a unique source of satellite imagery and other remotely sensed data of the Earth's land areas. These data are used by scientists, resource managers, urban planners, and many others worldwide to study land change and its impacts on natural systems and human endeavors.

Explore and Access Our Data
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USGS logo
July 18, 2017

GloVis

The USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis) is an online search and order tool for selected  is an online search and order tool for selected remote sensing data.  

EAA4, Australia wind power, Landsat 8
April 18, 2016

Find and Access Data at EROS

The EROS data archive contains a vast array of satellite imagery, aerial photos, digitized maps, elevation and land cover products, and much more. Most are easily downloadable via the internet.

Filter Total Items: 1,644
Year Published: 2018

Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models

Integrating spatially explicit biogeophysical and remotely sensed data into regression-tree models enables the spatial extrapolation of training data over large geographic spaces, allowing a better understanding of broad-scale ecosystem processes. The current study presents annual gross primary production (GPP) and annual ecosystem respiration (RE...

Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Danny; Dahal, Devendra; Gilmanov, Tagir G.
Boyte, S.P., B.K. Wylie, D.M. Howard, D.Dahal, T. Gilmanov. 2018. Estimating carbon and showing impacts of drought using satellite data in regression-tree models. International Journal of Remote Sensing 39:374-398.

Year Published: 2017

Examining the value of global seasonal reference evapotranspiration forecasts to support FEWS NET’s food insecurity outlooks

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) team provides food insecurity outlooks for several developing countries in Africa, Central Asia, and Central America. This study describes development of a new global reference evapotranspiration (ETo) seasonal reforecast and skill evaluation with a particular emphasis on the potential use of...

Shukla, Shraddhanand; McEvoy, Daniel; Hobbins, Michael; Husak, Gregory; Huntington, Justin; Funk, Chris; Macharia, Denis; Verdin, James P.
Shukla S., McEvoy D., Hobbins M., Husak G., Huntington, J., Funk C. and Verdin J. (2017) Examining the value of seasonal reference evapotranspiration forecasts to support FEWS NET's food security outlooks,

Year Published: 2017

Historical cover trends in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem from 1985 to 2013: Links with climate, disturbance, and management

Understanding the causes and consequences of component change in sagebrush steppe is crucial for evaluating ecosystem sustainability. The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe ecosystem of the northwest USA has been impacted by the invasion of exotic grasses, increasing fire return intervals, changing land management practices, and fragmentation...

Shi, Hua; Rigge, Matthew B.; Homer, Collin; Xian, George Z.; Meyer, Debbie; Bunde, Brett

Year Published: 2017

Methods for converting continuous shrubland ecosystem component values to thematic National Land Cover Database classes

The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides thematic land cover and land cover change data at 30-meter spatial resolution for the United States. Although the NLCD is considered to be the leading thematic land cover/land use product and overall classification accuracy across the NLCD is high, performance and consistency in the vast shrub and...

Rigge, Matthew B.; Gass, Leila; Homer, Collin G.; Xian, George Z.
Rigge, M.B., Gass, Leila, Homer, C.G., and Xian, G.Z., 2017, Methods for converting continuous shrubland ecosystem component values to thematic National Land Cover Database classes: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1119, 10 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171119.

Year Published: 2017

Productivity and CO2 exchange of Great Plains ecoregions. I. Shortgrass steppe: Flux tower estimates

The shortgrass steppe (SGS) occupies the southwestern part of the Great Plains. Half of the land is cultivated, but significant areas remain under natural vegetation. Despite previous studies of the SGS carbon cycle, not all aspects have been completely addressed, including gross productivity, ecosystem respiration, and ecophysiological parameters...

Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Morgan, Jack A.; Hanan, Niall P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rajan, Nithya; Smith, David P.; Howard, Daniel M.

Year Published: 2017

The evolution, approval and implementation of the U.S. Geological Survey Science Data Lifecycle Model

This paper details how the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Community for Data Integration (CDI) Data Management Working Group developed a Science Data Lifecycle Model, and the role the Model plays in shaping agency-wide policies. Starting with an extensive literature review of existing data Lifecycle models, representatives from various...

Faundeen, John L.; Hutchison, Vivian
Faundeen, J.L., Hutchison, V.B., The Evolution, Approval and Implementation of the U.S. Geological Survey Science Data Lifecycle Model, Journal of eScience Librarianship (2017)

Year Published: 2017

Woody vegetation die off and regeneration in response to rainfall variability in the west African Sahel

The greening in the Senegalese Sahel has been linked to an increase in net primary productivity, with significant long-term trends being closely related to the woody strata. This study investigates woody plant growth and mortality within greening areas in the pastoral areas of Senegal, and how these dynamics are linked to species diversity,...

Brandt, Martin; Tappan, G. Gray; Aziz Diouf, Abdoul; Beye, Gora; Mbow, Cheikh; Fensholt, Rasmus
Brandt, M., G. Tappan, A. Diouf, G. Beye, C. Mbow, R. Fensholt, 2017. "Woody Vegetation Die off and Regeneration in Response to Rainfall Variability in the West African Sahel" Remote Sensing, 9, 39; 21 pp

Year Published: 2017

Assessment of forest degradation in Vietnam using Landsat time series data

Landsat time series data were used to characterize forest degradation in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. We conducted three types of image change analyses using Landsat time series data to characterize the land cover changes. Our analyses concentrated on the timeframe of 1973–2014, with much emphasis on the latter part of that range. We conducted a...

Vogelmann, James; Van Khoa, Phung; Xuan Lan, Do; Shermeyer, Jacob S.; Shi, Hua; Wimberly, Michael C.; Tat Duong, Hoang; Van Huong, Le

Year Published: 2017

Statistical relative gain calculation for Landsat 8

The Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) is an optical multispectral push-broom sensor with a focal plane consisting of over 7000 detectors per spectral band. Each of the individual imaging detectors contributes one column of pixels to an image. Any difference in the response between neighboring detectors may result in a visible stripe or band...

Anderson (CTR), Cody; Helder, Dennis; Jeno (CTR), Drake
Anderson, C., Helder, D., Jeno, D., "Statistical relative gain calculation for Landsat 8," Proc. SPIE 10402, (2017) .

Year Published: 2017

Historical and projected trends in landscape drivers affecting carbon dynamics in Alaska

Modern climate change in Alaska has resulted in widespread thawing of permafrost, increased fire activity, and extensive changes in vegetation characteristics that have significant consequences for socioecological systems. Despite observations of the heightened sensitivity of these systems to change, there has not been a comprehensive assessment...

Pastick, Neal J.; Duffy, Paul A; Genet, Hélène; Rupp, T. Scott; Wylie, Bruce K.; Johnson, Kristofer; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Bliss, Norman B.; McGuire, Anthony David; Jafarov, Elchin; Knight, Joseph F.

Year Published: 2017

Effect of NOAA satellite orbital drift on AVHRR-derived phenological metrics

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center routinely produces and distributes a remote sensing phenology (RSP) dataset derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1-km data compiled from a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites (NOAA-11, −14, −...

Ji, Lei; Brown, Jesslyn
Ji, L., and Brown, J.F., 2017, Effect of NOAA satellite orbital drift on AVHRR-derived phonological metrics. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation

Year Published: 2017

Parcels versus pixels: modeling agricultural land use across broad geographic regions using parcel-based field boundaries

Land use and land cover (LULC) change occurs at a local level within contiguous ownership and management units (parcels), yet LULC models primarily use pixel-based spatial frameworks. The few parcel-based models being used overwhelmingly focus on small geographic areas, limiting the ability to assess LULC change impacts at regional to national...

Sohl, Terry L.; Dornbierer, Jordan; Wika, Steve; Sayler, Kristi L.; Quenzer, Robert
Sohl, T., Dornbierer, J., Wika, S., Sayler, K., and Quenzer, R., 2017. Parcels versus Pixels: Modelling agricultural land use across broad geographic regions using parcel-based field boundaries. Journal of Land Use Science (IN PRESS).

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November 21, 2017

The EROS Science Center is responsible for acquiring earth observations, archiving that data, and developing applications for the data to learn more about our planet. Visit https://eros.usgs.gov
 

November 9, 2017

Off the coast of Louisiana, the small Isle de Jean Charles has nearly been swallowed by the ocean. Only about 2% of the land mass remains compared to it's size in the 1950s.
 

October 26, 2017

CEOS Future Data Access & Architecture Team has outlined it's strategy for creating and distributing earth observations. These 5 initiatives will improve the way CEOS uses this data.
 

October 25, 2017

The Belo Monte Dam Complex's construction has had a significant impact on the flow of water along the Xingu River. These Landsat images show the changing landscape over the past several years. 

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
Hyperlink: USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

October 25, 2017

This video focuses on the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AρρEEARS) Area Sampler. With AρρEEARS, users can retrieve analysis ready data for specific areas of interest for a variety of NASA data products, including those derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. AρρEEARS Area Sampler enables users to subset one or more geographic areas (polygons) temporally and by layer, as well as mosaic, reformat, and reproject the data in one simple step. AρρEEARS can be accessed via https://lpdaacsvc.cr.usgs.gov/appeears/

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) is one of twelve NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs. It is located at the U. S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The LP DAAC ingests, archives, processes, and distributes NASA earth science land processes data and information. For more information about the LP DAAC, please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.

October 18, 2017

Alan Belward from the European Union's Joint Research Center discusses how Landsat helps his team promote sustainable development.
 

October 18, 2017

Ted Scambos, Lead Scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center, talks about the roll of Landsat in his research studying polar regions.
 

October 16, 2017

Strong winds are quickly spreading wildfire across California's wine country, as seen in these two Landsat 8 images.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

October 5, 2017

These Landsat 8 images show the latest iceberg to break free in Antarctica's Pine Island. Warmer ocean waters are melting the ice from beneath, causing increasing instability.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

September 29, 2017

Landsat 8 imagery shows the change in vegetation on Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

September 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma churned up sediment around the Florida keys as shown by these Landsat images.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)

Filter Total Items: 64
GEOS-13 Image of Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose
November 20, 2017

Free and rapid imagery was provided through the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System.

Landsat Analysis Ready Data
November 8, 2017

Improvements to the quality and usability of Landsat satellite data have been made with the release of a new USGS product called Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD). 

Artist concept of Landsat 8
November 8, 2017

Monitoring our changing planet is critical to supporting a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025. Observing the Earth from space offers unprecedented levels of data and a holistic view, which enables scientists to detect the most critical trends in natural resource conditions at local and global scales.

Satellite image showing the Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon area
July 20, 2017

Resourcesat data that are important for understanding changes associated with agriculture, forestry, phenology, and other applications are now available in the USGS archive.

Satellite imagery which appears to be a cubist art painting.
March 27, 2017

Earth as Art, a U.S. Geological Survey traveling exhibit that merges art with dramatic Landsat imagery of the earth’s surface, is coming to Bismarck for the month of April. This display is free and open to the public.

Image shows a satellite view of forests in Cambodia.
March 24, 2017

In this week's Landsat view, Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 show how significant Cambodia's deforestation has been in the last few decades.

Illustration of Landsat 7 in orbit
March 24, 2017

Access to consistent high-quality images to study changes on Earth’s surface is getting easier. The USGS Landsat standard (Level-1) product inventory is now structured by data quality and offers improved calibration. Data designated as Tier 1 provide the highest accuracy and can be reliably used to analyze changes to Earth’s surface over time.