December 2014


From the River to the Sea
Dec 18, 2014From the River to the Sea

A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite. The March 2014 release of water – an [...]

AGU logo
Dec 15, 2014Landsat at the Fall 2014 AGU Meeting

At this year's AGU Fall meeting over 300 presentations will feature research work done with the use of Landsat data. The Landsat-related papers and posters run the gamut of disciplines from cryosphere to biogeoscience to hydrology to global [...]

aerial photo of study area
Dec 10, 2014Mapping Permafrost in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin

The distribution of permafrost is generally poorly mapped at regional scales. This presents a problem for resource managers and modelers trying to understand the distribution and extent of permafrost susceptible to a warming climate. To better [...]

Landsat data stack
Dec 9, 2014Unleashing Climate Data and Innovation for more Resilient Ecosystems

Ecosystems provide vast services and benefits to humankind: food and water that is needed for survival; nutrients and other natural products that fuel farms and industries; natural controls on many pests and pathogens; storage of carbon safely [...]

Landsat scenes used by LANDFIRE
Dec 2, 201444,000 Landsat Scenes and Counting

LANDFIRE National used approximately 5,340 Landsat scenes to map CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii. Landfire continues to rely on Landsat imagery for updates. There were 13,185 scenes processed from 1984-2009 to capture landscape change for CONUS for the [...]

International Charter’s Landsat Image Ingests for Nov. 2014
Nov 30, 2014International Charter’s Landsat Image Ingests for Nov. 2014

This month, 212 Landsat scenes were ingested to help create maps.

Nov. 2014 PE&RS cover
Nov 28, 2014PE&RS Landsat Legacy Interview

The November issue of PE&RS featured a two-and-a-half page interview with the Landsat Legacy team in its Professional Insight section.

cranberry bogs
Nov 27, 2014Looking at Cranberry Bogs with Landsat

Whether it’s cranberry relish, cranberry fluff, cranberry sauce, cranberry salad, or cranberry salsa you’ll be enjoying today, it’s fun to see where cranberries grow. A series of commercial cranberry beds can be seen on this Oct. 6, 1999 Landsat [...]

William T. Pecora
Nov 18, 20142014 William T. Pecora Award Winners

This afternoon at the Pecora 19 conference in Denver, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA presented a group Pecora Award to The Landsat 8 Team.

Remembering Don Gray
Nov 16, 2014Remembering Don Gray

Don Gray, the founder of the Australian Landsat Station, passed away on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. It was through his vision and leadership that the Australian Government invested in the Australian Landsat Station in 1979.

Irons talking to Calandrelli.
Nov 15, 2014The Granddaddy of Them All

Xploration Outer Space aired an episode on satellites today. The premise of this episode was: “Thousands of satellites orbit the Earth everyday, helping us in ways that we may not even be aware of. But how are they made? Where do they live in [...]

Kamchatka volcanoes
Nov 14, 2014Kamchatka: The Erupting Peninsula

Explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov first pointed it out in 1755: “Perhaps there is no other region in the world where so many volcanoes and hot springs are to be found in so small a space as here on Kamchatka.” There may not be another land mass on [...]

Tesso Nilo National Park
Nov 11, 2014Tesso Nilo National Park

Established in 2004, Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra encompasses an area of rich plant diversity and provides habitat for Sumatran elephants and tigers.

USDA image of irrigated fields in an arid area
Nov 11, 2014Where the Water Goes

The Landsat satellite series has proven to be a perfect match to the needs of modern irrigated agriculture and water resources management. The 30 m spatial resolution permits the viewing of field scale characteristics of water consumption, which [...]

CA reservoir losses
Nov 10, 2014Visualizing the California Drought with Open Data

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Center for Integrated Data Analytics (CIDA) has created an open source visual description of California’s ongoing drought—one of the most severe droughts on record. Landsat data were among some of the many open [...]

Forum sharable
Nov 7, 2014Upcoming Forum: Changing Landscapes Observed From Space

This Saturday a NASA Climate Change Forum is being held at Howard Community College in Maryland. The forum will focus on urban, agricultural, and forest changes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that result from development and climate change. The [...]

A Landsat thermal image with banding
Oct 31, 2014Landsat Ghostbusters—How the Landsat Calibration Team Caught a Ghost

Shortly after the launch of Landsat 8, the calibration team noticed something strange: bright and dark stripes, or “banding” was showing up across certain images collected by the satellite’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). Prelaunch testing of [...]

Charter logo
Oct 31, 2014International Charter’s Landsat Image Ingests for Oct. 2014

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

L8 image of Juneau, Alaska
Oct 30, 2014Over 20 Million Landsat Scenes Downloaded

Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) [...]

boat in the Sundarbans
Oct 29, 2014Mapping South Asia’s Mangroves

Along the sea’s edge in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the dense coastal population lives largely in symbiosis with the region’s mangrove forests. Mangroves—a vast network of intertidal trees and shrubs with their characteristic [...]

fall foliage from Landsat 8
Oct 27, 2014Fantastic Fall Foliage

In this natural color Landsat 8 image of New York’s Finger Lake region acquired on Oct. 24, 2014, fall foliage colors of orange, rust, and sage can be seen surrounding the vivid blue lakes, bringing to mind a line from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of [...]

One-millionth MSS image
Oct 23, 2014Looking Back—The Millionth MSS Image

This Landsat (MSS) image, acquired by Landsat 2 on May 27, 1981 (WRS-1 Path 186 Row 26), marks the one-millionth MSS image acquired by the Landsat satellites. The image covers a 115×115-mile (185×185-km) area of the steppe (vast treeless plain) [...]

UNC paleontologists in the field
Oct 22, 2014Dinosaur GPS

Dr. Robert Anemone is the head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But he works out of a pretty standard office. The administrative assistant greets you in the outer office before gesturing toward [...]

algae collection photo
Oct 21, 2014Bringing Climate Change Tools to Lower Mekong Region

NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a five-year project that will promote the use of satellite imagery to help Asia’s Lower Mekong region better predict and cope with floods and other natural disasters and [...]

saturation event
Oct 14, 2014Keeping Cal

The Landsat calibration team published a number of papers in the SPIE Conference Volume 9218: Earth Observing Systems XIX. Our calibration team (or cal team) is a group of scientists and engineers who work together to ensure the scientific [...]

L8 pixel size comparison
Oct 8, 2014Know your Landsat: Understanding and Accessing Landsat Data

Interested in Landsat data discovery and access? Landsat satellites have been observing Earth's land surfaces consistently for over 40 years, providing the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. All Landsat data [...]

Ceccato in Tanzania
Oct 1, 2014Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania to train research scientists from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania on how to use products derived from NASA satellites to monitor climate and [...]

Phytoplankton bloom of the coast of Alaska
Sep 29, 2014‘Climate Dance’ of Plankton

The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants important for fish populations and Earth’s [...]

abandoned farm in Montana
Sep 26, 2014Modeling a Changing American Landscape

Land change is a signature activity of human civilization. Since the dawn of history, people have purposefully converted natural landscapes to human-dominated areas. Typical motivations for land change are cultivation (e.g. slash-and-burn [...]

20 Million and Counting
Sep 19, 201420 Million and Counting

The USGS Landsat project reported on twitter today that Landsat data downloads have hit the 20 million marker this week.

Mirror set-up
Sep 4, 2014A Big Eye in the Mojave Desert

In 1980, artist Tom Van Sant created the world’s largest manmade image with the help of Landsat 3.