February 2016


Landsat 8 Used to Pinpoint Shipwrecks
Feb 23, 2016Landsat 8 Used to Pinpoint Shipwrecks

Nearshore shipwrecks can leave telltale sediment plumes at the sea’s surface that reveal their location. Using Landsat 8 data, researchers have detected plumes extending as far as 4 kilometers (~2.5 miles) downstream from shallow shipwreck [...]

Tim Assal
Feb 16, 2016Documenting Spatial and Temporal Trends of Drought

We turned to the remote sensing archive to determine if drought altered forest structure over the course of a decade-and-a-half. We analyzed 22 years of Landsat satellite data to determine changes in forest condition between 1985 and 2012.

TIRS diagram
Feb 12, 2016Landsat 8 TIRS Updates from USGS

As of Feb. 12, 2016, many of the Landsat 8 scenes acquired from October to December 2015 have been reprocessed into nominal Level-1 products containing valid TIRS data and are available for download, and can also be submitted for higher-level [...]

in the field
Feb 2, 2016A New Observation Method That Sees the Forest for the Trees

A marriage in the remote forests of China promises to unite two important forces to better inform the health and future of biodiversity. The union is reported in this week’s journal Ecological Indicators by Michigan State University researchers.

56 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Jan. 2016
Jan 31, 201656 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Jan. 2016

The Charter as a one-stop-shop for impact maps—an essential resource, since in many cases satellite data are the only practical method to assess current ground conditions after a disaster.

paper graphic from Kays et al.
Jan 29, 2016Science, Nature, and Landsat in 2015

Last year, Landsat data were used in some aspect to inform more than a dozen research papers published in Science, Nature and Nature’s discipline-specific journals. The paper topics included animal migration patterns, [...]

D.C. covered in snow
Jan 26, 2016Landsat Sees a Blizzard, January 24, 2016

On January 24, 2016 Landsat 8 acquired a clear view—from South Carolina to Pennsylvania—the day after a blizzard covered much of the eastern United States in snow. Watch as more than 620 miles (1,000 km) of landscape are shown in detail.

Tim Newman at LSTM
Jan 25, 2016Landsat Science Team Meeting – Jan. 2016

The USGS Landsat website has made all presentations given at the January 2016 Landsat Science Meeting available online.

Edits to NOAA Chart for Yukon River
Jan 18, 2016Satellite Images are Source for First-of-its-Kind Charts of Alaska’s Yukon River

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has issued provisional charts for barge operators and others traversing Alaska’s challenging Yukon River.

field day in Alice Springs
Jan 13, 2016Satellite Data Help Australian Ranchers Meet the Rising Demand for Meat in a Changing World

When Russell Lethbridge walks his property in northern Australia — kicking-up clouds of dust that catch the sunlight as he assesses the grasses, shrubs and brush that fill the landscape with muted tones of green — he carries the legacy of five [...]

TIRS diagram
Jan 13, 2016Landsat 8 Thermal Data Update

Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data continue to be collected with the scene select mirror encoder electronics disabled (mode 0). While in this mode, the TIRS line of sight model (LOS) will be regularly updated and modifications are [...]

Banaue rice terraces
Jan 11, 2016Future Grains

When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, the costs of many basic dietary staples doubled or even tripled around the world, sparking protests and riots. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis.

Newman Library
Jan 6, 2016Future Science Products for Landsat Satellite to be Discussed at Landsat Science Team Meeting

Virginia Tech faculty members and graduate students will get to present their remote sensing research to scientists from across the world when the Landsat Science Team meets on the Blacksburg campus Jan. 12-14.

OLI
Dec 31, 2015Letter Contract for Landsat 9 Imager-2 Awarded

NASA has awarded a sole source letter contract to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo., to build the Operational Land Imager-2 instrument for the Landsat 9 project.

79 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Dec. 2015
Dec 31, 201579 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Dec. 2015

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter. Once activated, a project manager takes charge. The project manager knows what satellite [...]

Rice fields
Dec 18, 2015Mapping Rice, Managing Water in Parched California

Liheng Zhong, a Senior Delineator with the California Department of Water Resources is working on a way to map rice fields with Landsat to better manage water use. He presented some of this findings at #AGU15, here's what he shared with us.

Mongolian Plateau lake
Dec 18, 2015Behind the Rapid Loss of Lakes on the Mongolian Plateau

Shengli Tao, from Peking University, has used the Landsat data archive to map, measure, and investigate the shrinking lakes of the Mongolian Plateau. We spoke to Tao about the work he presented at #AGU15.

Clopper Lake
Dec 18, 2015Tracking Global Surface Water Dynamics with Landsat

At #AGU15, Amy Hudson, from the University of Maryland College Park, presented a poster about her work to develop a global surface water dynamics map for the years 2000–2014 using data from three Landsat satellites. We spoke with her about this [...]

2015 Antarctica velocity map
Dec 18, 2015Measuring Movement at the Bottom of the Earth

Alex Gardner, a Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has used 30 years of Landsat data—some 3 million scenes—to measure the velocity of Antarctica's ice sheet. He spoke with us about the work he is presenting at #AGU15.

a river meander
Dec 18, 2015The Mechanics of Meander Migration

Joshua Ahmed from Cardiff University studies how river meanders evolve. Using Landsat data to examine river movement through time, his team has made new observations about river channel change. He presented his findings at #AGU15.

installing water gages in Kenya
Dec 18, 2015Monitoring Small Surface Water Bodies in Africa

Naga Manohar Velpuri, works with the USGS Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). The project has recently initiated a large-scale project to monitor surface water bodies in the pastoral regions of Africa using multi-source satellite [...]

Lake Clark
Dec 18, 2015Watching Glacial Sediment Plumes in Alaska’s Lake Clark

Carson Baughman, a geographer at the USGS Alaska Science Center, presented results of his study on seasonal glacial sediment plumes in Alaska's Lake Clark at #AGU15. We talked to Carson about his work.

houses in nepal
Dec 17, 2015Detecting Landslides in Nepal with Landsat

Justin Roberts-Pierel from the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, uses Landsat 8 to detect landslides in the Himalayas. He provided information about his studies at #AGU15. We talked with him about his work.

wild horses
Dec 17, 2015An Integrated Look at Barrier Islands: Assateague to Metompkin

A new Landsat-based report from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center takes an integrated look at barrier islands.

Union Beach, NJ post-Sandy
Dec 17, 2015How Hurricane Sandy Affected New Jersey Coastal Marshes

Alex Riter, a graduate student at the University of Maryland College Park, presented her finding on how Hurricane Sandy affected New Jersey coastal marches at #AGU15. We talked to Riter about her research.

earthquake aftermath
Dec 17, 2015How the 2010 Haitian Earthquake & Resulting Human Migration Affected Landslide Occurrences

At #AGU15 Yurika Kato, a Geosciences graduate student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, presented his research about how the 2010 Haitian earthquake and resulting human migration affected landslide occurrences in the Port-au-Prince [...]

great blue heron
Dec 17, 2015Using Landsat to Measure Chlorophyll in the Chesapeake Bay

Sara Lubkin, previously with the NASA DEVELOP program, presented a poster at #AGU15 on her work using Landsat data in concert with MODIS data to measure chlorophyll levels in the Chesapeake Bay. We spoke with Lubkin about her work.

Antarctic rock outcrop map
Dec 17, 2015Mapping Antarctic Rock Outcrops with Landsat 8

Alex Burton-Johnson, Martin Black, and Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey have used Landsat 8 data to create a new rock outcrop map for Antarctica, which will become part of the Antarctic Digital Database. The team presented their [...]

Denali, snow
Dec 17, 2015A New Landsat-based Snow Cover Product from USGS

David Selkowitz, a Research Geographer with the USGS Alaska Science Center, and his team have developed a snow cover product, that allows users to look at historical snow cover through time. Selkowitz presented a poster on the Landsat-based data [...]

longwall mining machine
Dec 16, 2015Assessing Longwall Mining Impacts on the Forests Above

Erin Pfeil-McCullough, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, gave a talk at #AGU15 on insights that she has gained from her research to determine what impacts longwall mining has on forest canopies above as the ground subsides and [...]

Niger River
Dec 16, 2015Monitoring Water Quality Trends in the Niger River Basin

Chase Mueller from NASA Ames Research Center shared the results of a project that uses Landsat and MODIS data to monitor water quality trends at #AGU15. We spoke with him about his findings.

Bagre Lake
Dec 16, 2015Tracking Microbiological Health Hazards in Burkina Faso

Elodie Robert from the French National Center for Scientific Research presented preliminary results of her research at #AGU15 that aims to track microbiological heath hazards based on surface water turbidity in West Africa.

fire boundary, Red Lassic
Dec 15, 2015Forest Disturbances and their Causes in California

Courtney Reents, a graduate student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented a poster on forest disturbance in California at #AGU15.

Coropuna
Dec 15, 2015Survival of a Tropical Glacier

William Kochtitzky, a student from Dickinson College, presented a poster on glacial changes on Peru’s Nevado Coropuna volcano at #AGU15.

mosquito beach
Dec 14, 2015Landsat Helps Inform Restoration Decisions in the Great Lakes

Charles Perry, a Research Soil Scientist with the USDA's Forest Inventory and Analysis group, gave a talk about his research that uses Landsat to monitor land use and land cover change in watersheds surrounding the Great Lakes at #AGU15. He is [...]

Prairie Pothole Region
Dec 14, 2015Finding Land Surface Change with Landsat: An Automation

Jennifer Rover, a Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey, gave a talk on an automated method she developed to assess long-term change to Earth's surface using Landsat at #AGU15.

U.S. forest
Dec 14, 2015Finding Where U.S. Forests Have Been Undisturbed for a Quarter Century

Chengquan Huang presented a poster explaining where to find U.S. forests that have been undisturbed for last 25 years at #AGU15. His research relied on Landsat to both find these forests and understand forest disturbance trends in the U.S.

a prairie pothole
Dec 14, 2015Climate Change, Conservation, and the Chemical Evolution of Prairie Potholes

Martin Goldhaber gave a talk about how climate change will impact the hydrochemistry of wetlands in an immensely important ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region at #AGU15. Landsat data helped Goldhaber track how the size of the [...]

AGU logo
Dec 14, 2015Landsat at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting

At this year’s AGU Fall meeting over 325 presentations feature research done using Landsat data. The Landsat-related papers and posters run the gamut of disciplines from cryosphere to biogeoscience to hydrology to global environmental change to [...]

grazing cattle
Dec 10, 2015Land Change Trends, Midwest–South Central U.S., 1973 to 2000

A new Landsat-based report on land use trends in the Midwest and South Central U.S. between 1973 and 2000 was released by USGS this month.

TIRS telescope
Dec 8, 2015TIRS Anomaly

On Nov. 1, 2015 the TIRS instrument experienced an anomalous condition related to the instrument's ability to accurately measure the location of the Scene Select Mirror.

Ten Critical Satellites for Monitoring Earth's Vital Signs
Dec 2, 2015Ten Critical Satellites for Monitoring Earth’s Vital Signs

Peter Miller writing for National Geographic, included Landsat as one of ten critical Earth-observing satellites for monitoring our planet. Miller's article appeared online in mid-October as well as in the November 2015 print edition of [...]

Government Leaders Endorse Forests as Key Climate Solution
Dec 1, 2015Government Leaders Endorse Forests as Key Climate Solution

Heads of Government from major forest countries and partner countries joined together on Nov. 30, 2015 to endorse forests as a key climate solution. They recommitted to providing strong, collective and urgent action to promote equitable rural [...]

56 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter in November 2015
Nov 30, 201556 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter in November 2015

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter. Once activated, a project manager takes charge. The project manager knows what satellite [...]

fire scar in the everglades
Nov 30, 2015Recounting Recent Fire History of Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve

When you think of Southern Florida's vast everglades, fire is not something that usually comes to mind, but the region has a long history of seasonal fires.

Panmah and Choktoi glacier movement
Nov 27, 2015Animating the “Karakoram Anomaly” with Landsat

Capitalizing on the long Landsat data record and the human brain’s capacity to recognize movement, Frank Paul from the University of Zurich has created glacier animations that enable viewers to witness the complex flow of glaciers.

new USGS Landsat fact sheet
Nov 25, 2015“Landsat—Earth Observation Satellites” a New USGS Fact Sheet

The USGS Publications Warehouse, has just published a new Landsat fact sheet, that briefly describes Landsat's history, and provides information about satellite [...]

Jeff Masek
Nov 17, 2015Landsat 9 Project Scientist Talks Carbon During Reddit AMA

On Nov. 12, Jeff Masek, the NASA Landsat 9 Project Scientist, participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, part of the AskScience AMA Series. Masek was one of three participating NASA scientists studying the role of carbon on Earth's [...]

graphic from World Bank Group's remote sensing introduction
Nov 16, 2015A Remote Sensing Tutorial from World Bank Group

In a effort to help sustainable development professionals learn more about Earth observation resources that can help with their work, the World Bank Group released an informational website focused on remote sensing.

an arctic stream
Nov 16, 2015Case Studies in Carbon and Climate

Every part of the mosaic of Earth's surface — ocean and land, Arctic and tropics, forest and grassland — absorbs and releases carbon in a different way. Wild-card events such as massive wildfires and drought complicate the global picture even [...]