Energy Resources

Landsat's Role in Managing Energy Resources

Energy is a growing necessity for people worldwide. As the demand for energy grows, Landsat plays an important role in identifying new energy sources and mitigating the human and environmental impact of energy development. Landsat is useful in the energy sector both because of its unparalleled decades-long record of Earth’s land and because of its ability to measure infrared and visible light. With more than 40 years of imagery, decision makers can monitor the environmental impact of mining and energy generation and track ecological recovery after operations end. Landsat’s ability to measure infrared light allows farmers and decision makers to gauge the health of biofuel crops and natural vegetation near dams and mining sites. The infrared and visible measurements together help energy companies identify minerals on the surface when plants are sparse.

Longwall mining machinery in a Colorado coal mine

Assessing 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 local hydrology is altered.

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