January 2014


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

[Reported by Leslie Gordon, USGS] 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 [...]

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. "We have entered a new [...]

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 [...]