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Category: Fire

News Archive
Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, on the left and USGS Director David Applegate on the right.

USGS Director Talks Landsat

In an Instagram Live event titled “Guided by Science,” Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, spoke with USGS Director Dr. David Applegate. The Landsat portion of that discussion is shared here.

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Earth in space with the words: Extra Dimensional: The Fusion of Landsat & GEDI superimposed on top.

ExtraDimensional—The Fusion of Landsat & GEDI

When Landsat’s vast decades-long archive is combined with data from other instruments it can provide amazing insight into how our world is evolving with us and around us. Here are some of the ways Landsat and GEDI data are being harnessed to help us better understand the complex relationship between humanity and nature.

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Big Creek Bridge

When Fire+Flood=Beach

A new study combines decades of Landsat and Sentinel-2 imagery with hydrologic and oceanographic data to look at how changes on land affect coastlines in Big Sur, California.

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Improved Forest Disturbance Monitoring via an Algorithm Ensemble

Forest resource managers, natural resource policy makers, and global change scientists need comprehensive, consistent, and up-to-date information on trends in forest cover and condition. This information is essential for understanding carbon budgets, predicting fire behavior, quantifying biodiversity, and hydrologic modeling.

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44,000 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 LANDFIRE 2008 update (representing change 1999-2008). Additional years are included because the algorithm used to identify change needed a longer time horizon.

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Landsat 8 Helps Map Fires during Long, Busy Alaska Fire Season

Lighting ignited the Castle Rocks fire in the deep backcountry of Denali National Park and Preserve in early July, 2013. Over the next two months, the Castle Rocks fire would fluctuate between periods of activity and inactivity depending on changing weather conditions, eventually burning more than 12,900 acres by the time it was declared out on September 4, 2013. Remote even by Alaska standards, the Castle Rocks fire plotted approximately 100 miles to the west of Denali park headquarters and 160 miles southwest of Fairbanks.

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Wildfire 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 continuing their critical research characterizing the hidden dangers faced after large wildfires.

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Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our cities growing, rivers flooding, lava flowing from volcanic eruptions, forests expanding or shrinking, crops greening through the growing season, and even of evidence of pollution.

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Landsat 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 downloaded from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

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Landsat 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.

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After 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 emergency restoration efforts.

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NASA '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 wildfire destroyed 500 homes in the first 48 hours and killed two people.

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