May 2016


dead trees in the Sierra Nevadas
May 20, 2016Decades of Foothill Forest Growth Erased Due to California’s Extreme Drought

Analyzing a three-decade record of vegetation cover change from the Landsat to compare previous controls on Sierra Nevada forest growth rates and effects of recent fluctuations in water availability since the mid-1980s.

Trees burned by the Summit Fire
May 19, 2016Landsat Data Show Rapid Recovery for Some California Forests Despite Drought

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat satellite images over the past three decades showed that the severe drought periods recorded since the 1980s have not slowed rapid tree and shrub growth, especially on steep slopes burned recently by [...]

19 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, April 2016
Apr 30, 201619 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, April 2016

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.

tornado destruction
Apr 27, 2016April 27, 2011–Five Years Later: A Satellite Imagery Perspective

On April 27, 2011, a severe weather outbreak occurred across the southeastern United States, resulting in 199 tornadoes across the region and over 300 fatalities.

tornado damage Perry Co. 2015
Apr 11, 2016Landsat Imagery Helps Determine Tornado Tracks

On December 23, 2015, an unusual early winter season tornado outbreak struck much of the Tennessee Valley.

20 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, March 2016
Mar 31, 201620 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, March 2016

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.

126 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Feb. 2016
Feb 29, 2016126 Landsat Images Provided to International Charter, Feb. 2016

This month, 126 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

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.

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

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.

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 [...]

14 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in October 2015
Oct 31, 201514 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in October 2015

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

Over 150 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in September 2015
Sep 30, 2015Over 150 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in September 2015

This month, 166 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

Gombe ecosystem
Sep 29, 2015Landsat Images Advance Watershed Restoration in Western Tanzania

For those who live along its shores, Lake Tanganyika in east Africa is the backbone of local transportation and serves as an essential source of household water and protein. Every night, fishers lure nocturnal, sardine-like fish called dagaa [...]

ISU team in the field
Aug 7, 2015A Landsat-based Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

Landsat 8 imagery is being used to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015
Jul 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015

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

Satellite-located landslides
Jun 4, 2015Scientist-Volunteers Map Landslides from Nepal Quakes

As millions of people regroup from earthquakes in Nepal, a team of international volunteers is combing through satellite imagery of the region to identify additional hazards: earthquake-induced landslides. “Landslides are a common secondary [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in May 2015
May 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in May 2015

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

Landsat image of blocked road
May 14, 2015Gorkha Quake-Induced Chongsecun Landslide and Lake (Tibet)

The Chongsecun landslide was found by a Canadian government scientist (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Canada) scrutinizing post- and pre-quake Landsat 8 images.

Landsat 8 image of Langtang Valley
May 5, 2015Landsat Shows New Hazards Arising in Manaslu/Langtang Region of Nepal

The April 25, 2015, magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal triggered devastating landslides in Langtang Valley. Ice, snow and debris avalanches, rockfalls and landslides also occurred widely in other areas of the Nepal Himalaya. Landsat 8 [...]

Landsat image showing post-earthquake landslide in Langtang Valley.
May 2, 2015Landsat 8 Reveals Extent of Quake Disaster in Nepal’s Langtang Valley

The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, caused extensive damage in Kathmandu Valley and severely affected Nepal's rural areas. Space agencies around the world are providing extensive resources in a huge [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015
Apr 30, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015

This month, 53 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

tornado track
Apr 15, 2015NASA’s SPoRT Disaster Response Team Provides Landsat Imagery for Illinois Tornadoes

On April 9, 2015, severe thunderstorms produced several reports of damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes — including one particularly strong (EF-4) long-track tornado across north-central Illinois.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in March 2015
Mar 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in March 2015

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

Turkana women gathering water
Jan 26, 2015Water Mapping Technology Rebuilds Lives in Arid Regions

Turkana County in northwest Kenya has been reeling from several years of crippling drought. As a consequence, the nomadic peoples in the region have suffered. Livestock such as goats and cattle, the sole source of income for these pastoralists, [...]

cloudless satellite composite image
Dec 23, 2014Mapbox: Innovating with Landsat

Mapbox is a cloud-based map platform startup that creates custom maps with open source tools. The team at Mapbox consists of over fifty cartographers, data analysts and software engineers, located in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, [...]

Disaster 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.

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 [...]

Aftermath of Hurricane Mitch
Jul 24, 2014Mapping Disaster: A Global Community Helps from Space

Year after year, somewhere on Earth, natural or manmade disasters cause loss of life and widespread destruction, frequently spawning refugee situations. Though the risk of a disaster is low in any one particular place, earthquakes, volcanoes, [...]

River Thames flood map
Jan 8, 2014Flooding in the UK

As part of the International Charter—Space and Major Disasters, a number of satellite-derived maps showing the extent of flooding across the UK have been released, including the above Landsat 8-derived map of flooding along the River Thames near [...]

Landsat 8 image of Rim Fire
Nov 7, 2013Wildfire Science Returns to Rim Fire

Although dousing the flames was foremost in people’s minds during the recent Rim Fire in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, U.S. Geological Survey scientific work continues well after the fire is out. USGS scientists are [...]

Location of Rim Fire
Sep 3, 2013Landsat 8 Satellite Sees Rim Fire from Space

Two recent images from the Landsat 8 satellite compare land conditions in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park before and during the Rim Fire. The images, from August 15 before the fire began and from August 31, can be contrasted and [...]

Burn severity map for Wallow Fire
Aug 29, 2013Landsat Revisits Old Flames in Fire Trends

The Wallow Fire burned over 500,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Arizona history, to date. It is one of many large fires that fire managers and researchers have seen scorch forests nationwide since the early 2000s.

BAER soil scientist
Aug 21, 2013After a Fire, Before a Flood

While the 138,000-acre Silver Fire still smoldered, forest restoration specialists were on the job. They analyzed maps created using Landsat satellite data to determine where the burn destroyed vegetation and exposed soil—and where to focus [...]

Burning structure in Black Forest fire
Aug 9, 2013NASA ‘Fire Towers’ in Space Watch for Wildfires

The Black Forest wildfire this June was one of the most destructive in Colorado history, in terms of homes lost. It started close to houses and quickly spread through the ponderosa pine canopies on the rolling hills near Colorado Springs. The [...]

Leonard Lopate
Aug 8, 2013Environmental Monitoring with Public Domain Satellites

WNYC's Leonard Lopate talks with SkyTruth president, John Amos, about using public domain satellite imagery, such as Landsat, to monitor the environment. SkyTruth uses all types of satellite imagery to monitor environmental changes and [...]

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA's daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree [...]

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its [...]

Shemya Island
Aug 29, 2012Analyzing Landsat to Mitigate Bird/Aircraft Collisions

The presence of birds near an aircraft runway is a constant concern. Although deadly crashes are rare, a bird strike to the windshield can cause visibility issues for pilots, and strikes to jet engines can cause engine failure. Flocks of birds [...]

Aug 20, 2012Landsat Shows Yellowstone Burn Recovery

A combination of lightning, drought and human activity caused fires to scorch more than one-third of Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988. Within a year, burn scars cast a sharp outline on the 793,880 acres affected by fire, [...]

Projected flooding in Williston, ND after catastrophic dam failure.
Apr 2, 2012Landsat Key Element in Flood Study

• Floods are considered the number one natural hazard, causing more deaths and damage year after year. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided funding to a college in North Dakota for GIS and remote sensing technology and training [...]

Fafen Upper Valley in Ethiopia
Jan 25, 2012Combating drought in the Horn of Africa

• UNESCO began mapping groundwater this January in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, in order to bring the population a sustainable water supply. Drought has caused the region's worst famine in 60 years, with 12 million people at risk of [...]

Sep 2, 2011Landsat Images Illustrate Flooding from Irene in New York State

Remnants of Hurricane Irene caused heavy flooding, as shown in thisAugust 31 Landsat 5 image, in the hamlet of Pine Island in the town of Warwick (Orange County), New York. Sometimes called "the drowned lands" (long before Irene), the fertile [...]

two satellite-derived images of the Wallow Fire
Aug 23, 2011Landsat Image Maps Aid Fire Recovery Efforts

Contributor: Melissa Quijada, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center NASA satellite images regularly map active fires around the world. Once a fire is out, satellite data and maps are also used by scientists to measure and protect the scorched land, [...]

Flooding down the Missouri River
Jul 20, 2011Landsat Satellites Track Continued Missouri River Flooding

Flooding along the Missouri River continues as shown in recent Landsat satellite images of the Nebraska and Iowa border. Heavy rains and snowmelt have caused the river to remain above flood stage for an extended period. A Landsat 5 image of the [...]

Missouri River surrounding Omaha
Jul 6, 2011Landsat 5 Captures Missouri River Flooding Near Omaha

Landsat 5 captured an image of flooding occurring along the Iowa/Nebraska border on June 30, 2011. Flooding is still occurring on July 6, and Flood Warnings are still in effect from the National Weather Service. This Landsat 5 image shows the [...]

Souris River
Jun 28, 2011Landsat Images Reveal Extent of Historic North Dakota Flooding

Heavy rains in Canada caused historic flooding in Minot, N.D. Landsat satellite images taken before and during the flooding reveal the water's extent. The Souris River finally crested on June 26, but not before more than 4,000 homes and hundreds [...]