Jan 22, 2013What is the Economic Value of Satellite Imagery?

Does remote-sensing information, such as that from Landsat and similar Earth-observing satellites, provide economic benefits to society, and can this value be estimated? Using satellite data for northeastern Iowa, U.S. Geological Survey scientists modeled the relations among land uses, agricultural production, and dynamic nitrate (NO3) contamination of aquifers.

image looking towards the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Jan 16, 2013Measuring changes and extent of glacial features

Contributor: Robert Bindschadler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center The stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is an issue of active research and societal concern because of the potential economic impact resulting from an increase in global sea level. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, riddled with deep crevasses and flowing ice streams, contains over 700,000 […]

Lake Djoudj
Aug 18, 2006Lake Djoudj, Senegal

In August 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), released an atlas entitled: “Africa’s Lakes: Atlas of Our Changing Environment.” The atlas relies heavily on Landsat imagery from the past 34 years to show changes in lakes around the African continent. Above, are two Landsat images of the Djoudj Sanctuary in Senegal that are featured […]

This Landsat 7 thermal image shows the thermal bar along the shore of Lake Ontario
Apr 21, 2005Monitoring lake inventories and health

Contributor: John Schott, Rochester Institute of Technology As snow begins to melt at the close of winter, large lakes receive warm spring river run-off carrying pollutants that are potentially harmful to phytoplankton and the fish that feed on them. The warmer water initially stays near the shoreline, not mixing with the cold winter lake water. […]

Sediment densities in the Gulf of Thailand at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River.
Dec 14, 1990Determining patterns and extent of turbidity

Location: Chao Phraya River, Thailand Landsat TM image showing sediment in the Gulf of Thailand at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. Colors represent different concentrations of sediment. Sediment load in rivers can be affected by land-use practices and rainfall variations. The curving horizontal lines are “trails” of sediment stirred up by trolling fishing […]

Mapping floods and flood plain characteristics
Dec 18, 1987Mapping floods and flood plain characteristics

Location: Great Salt Lake, Utah Source: USGS Earthshots The Great Salt Lake is a terminal lake, with no outlet rivers running to the ocean. This means the lake responds dramatically to changes in inflow. Rainy weather beginning in 1982 brought the lake to its highest levels in recorded history, peaking in June 1986 and March-April […]

Landsat TM image of the Harrisburg region acquired on Oct. 30, 1984.
Oct 30, 1984Mapping major geologic features

Location:¬†Harrisburg, Pennsylvania This Landsat view shows Harrisburg and the Appalachian Mountains of central Pennsylvania. The Piedmont province is visible in the lower right corner. The Great Valley runs SW-NE across the center of view, and the Valley and Ridge province occupies the northwest portion of scene. The city of Harrisburg is the blue-grey patch next […]