December 2016


Heimdal Glacier
Dec 23, 2016Landsat Provides Global View of Speed of Ice

Scientists are providing a near-real-time view of every large glacier and ice sheet on Earth with Landsat 8.

map of aCDOM440
Dec 16, 2016Mapping Dissolved Organic Matter in Tropical Inland Waters with Landsat 8

Using Landsat 8 to map the colored dissolved organic matter of inland tropical waters.

hardwood swamp in flordia
Dec 16, 2016Apalachicola’s Disappearing Swamp

The hardwood swamp along the Apalachicola River is slowly replaced by bottomland hardwood forest.

soybean field
Dec 16, 2016Mappng Croplands Over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer

Using Landsat to map croplands over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer.

Yamouk River Valley
Dec 16, 2016Managing Water in Conflict-Torn Regions

Understanding the relationship between land use and river flows in the Yarmouk basin.

Ucayali River movements
Dec 16, 2016The Secret Lives of Migrating Rivers

The avalanching dynamics of meandering rivers.

Sierra Nevada Mountains
Dec 15, 2016Extreme Event: 2012-2015 Snowpack Drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The water year 2015 peak snowpack was found to be the lowest over the 65-year reconstruction of peak annual snow water equivalent.

ducks
Dec 15, 2016Tracking Water Resources in California’s Central Valley

A near real-time water resources tracking and decision-support system for the Central Valley of California.

water dynamics map river confluence
Dec 15, 2016Watching Water Dynamics

How much has surface water extent varied in space and time through the past 17 years?

Hume Dame
Dec 15, 2016Environmental Flows: Managing Water in the Murray Darling Basin

How seasonal flooding impacts riparian vegetation in Australia's Murray Darling Basin.

Nevado Coropuna
Dec 14, 2016A Glacierized Volcano in Peru & El Niño

How the El Niño Southern Oscillation impacts snow cover of a glacierized volcano in Peru.

lake in Tibet
Dec 13, 2016A Bounty of New Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau

The number of lakes and water surface area on the Tibetan Plateau has changed much faster than expected.

flooding
Dec 12, 2016Mapping Historic Floods Around the World

Developing the largest database of spatial extents for historic floods.

canal structure
Dec 12, 2016Watching Water Use in the Southwest

Water use trends observed in the Southwestern U.S. over three decades.

changes to the River Ob in Siberia
Dec 9, 2016Landsat Maps Global Surface Water

Quantifying changes in global surface waters over the past 32 years.

global surface water map
Sep 1, 2016Tracking Surface Water Changes Over the Past 30 Years

The world has gained 115,000 km2 of water and 173,000 km2 of land over the past 30 years.

WOfS map of Australia
Aug 26, 2016Why Science Team Member Leo Lymburner Uses Landsat

Australia turned to Landsat. At Geoscience Australia, Landsat 8 Science Team member Leo Lymburner works with the flood mapping team headed by Norman Mueller that conceived of the Water Observations from Space project, or WOfS.

Spartina grass on Sapelo Island
Aug 15, 2016Landsat Reveals Serious Decline in Georgia Salt Marsh Health

Scientists at the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute at Sapelo Island have found that the amount of vegetation along the Georgia coast has declined significantly in the last 30 years, spurring concerns about the overall health of marshland [...]

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019
Jun 21, 2016Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019

Even with this winter’s strong El Niño, the Sierra Nevada snowpack will likely take until 2019 to return to pre-drought levels, according to new research.

Thirsting for Equitable Water Distribution, Australia Turns to Landsat
May 25, 2016Thirsting for Equitable Water Distribution, Australia Turns to Landsat

Since record keeping began in 1860, no period has been drier for southeastern Australia than the decade-long Millennium Drought. The lack of rain between 1997 and 2009 led to livestock losses, crop failures, and percentage drops in the Australian GDP.

bird
May 16, 2016Landsat Helps Feed Tired And Hungry Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

irrigation photo
Apr 29, 2016Mapping Water Use: Landsat and America’s Water Resources

Water is one of our nation’s most important natural resources, one that’s long been considered inexhaustible. Yet changes in land use, climate, and population demographics are placing unprecedented demands on America’s water supplies. As [...]

Preparing an optical profiler
Apr 25, 2016A Real-Life Bay Watch: NASA Helps Monitor LA Coastline

When a Los Angeles water treatment plant had to discharge treated water closer to shore than usual in the fall of 2015 due to repair work, NASA satellite observations helped scientists from the City of Los Angeles and local research institutions [...]

wetlands in winter
Mar 16, 2016New Technique Tracks ‘Heartbeat’ of Hundreds of Wetlands

Across the U.S. and particularly in Washington state, very little is known about the acreage, yearly flooding cycles and even the actual locations of wetlands. Even hazier is what could happen to these vital ecosystems under climate change.

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 [...]

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.

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.

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 [...]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 [...]

close-up of study area land-terminating glacier
Oct 28, 2015Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

Ice sheets are in perpetual motion, making their way downslope like a river. If the amount of snow that an ice sheet accumulates does not keep pace with its loss to the sea, sea level will rise. As temperatures have climbed, positive feedback [...]

Comparison of idle fields from 2011 to 2015
Oct 21, 2015Federal Agencies Release Data Showing California Central Valley Idle Farmland Doubling During Drought

NASA, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the California Department of Water Resources, released data today showing the effect the current drought has had on [...]

Ayse Kilic (University of Nebraska)
Oct 14, 2015Tracking Agricultural Water Use on a Smartphone

This fall scientists at the University of Nebraska, with partners at Google Inc., the University of Idaho and the Desert Research Institute, introduced the latest evolution of METRIC technology—an application called EEFLUX, which will allow [...]

Horn Island Lagoon Mississippi
Oct 13, 2015Barrier Island Shorelines Extracted From Landsat Imagery

Landsat enables coastal geomorphologists to observe changes to barrier islands on annual and decadal time scales—providing information about island size, shape and position, as well as erosion, land loss and island breakup.

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 [...]

shorebirds
Sep 24, 2015Landsat Helps Feed the Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

water hyacinth in bloom
Sep 2, 2015A Beautiful Menace: Tracking Water Hyacinth with Landsat

Delivering maps and tabular summaries of live water hyacinth coverage in waterways of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from the latest cloud-free Landsat satellite imagery.

cropland in PA
Aug 18, 2015How Landsat Helps: New Agricultural Case Studies from USGS

The Social and Economic Analysis team at the Fort Collins Science Center recently added five new agriculture focused case studies to their "Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource" website.