Drought map for 2007
Oct 10, 2011EarthSky Interview with Martha Anderson: Using Landsat to Monitor Water Use from Space

Oct 10, 2011 • Martha Anderson, a research scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, uses images from the Landsat satellite program to monitor water use and drought on U.S. farms with pinpoint accuracy, even at the scale of individual fields. As water availability becomes an increasingly critical issue worldwide, she said, it’s important to […]

Yellowstone National Park
Aug 7, 2011Landsat Satellites Track Yellowstone’s Underground Heat

Aug 7, 2011 • Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a vast, ancient, and still active volcano. Heat pours off its underground magma chamber, and is the fuel for Yellowstone’s famous features—more than 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers, including Old Faithful. But expected development by energy companies right outside Yellowstone’s borders […]

Kelp forest in Santa Barbara Channel.
May 24, 2011Scientists Track Environmental Influences on Giant Kelp with Help from Landsat Data

May 24, 2011 • Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed new methods for studying how environmental factors and climate affect giant kelp forest ecosystems at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. The scientists merged data collected underwater by UCSB divers with satellite images of giant kelp canopies taken by the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper. The […]

Part of Antarctica seen with the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica.
Mar 22, 2011EarthSky Interview with Robert Bindschadler: First ever image mosaic of entire Antarctica detail

Mar 22, 2011 • Scientists have created a mosaic of digital images collected from space showing the frozen continent of Antarctica—one of the most remote and least known places on Earth—in amazing detail for the first time ever. The mosaic is called LIMA, for Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica. Podcasts: • 90 second podcast interview (1.7 Mb) […]

Yellowstone National Park and the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming
Sep 8, 2010Landsat Reveal Surprising Connection Between Beetle Attacks, Wildfire

Sep 8, 2010 • If your summer travels have taken you across the Rocky Mountains, you’ve probably seen large swaths of reddish trees dotting otherwise green forests. While it may look like autumn has come early to the mountains, evergreen trees don’t change color with the seasons. The red trees are dying, the result of […]

A portion of the map showing mangrove forests distributions of the world.
Aug 18, 2010Landsat Enables World’s Most Comprehensive Mangrove Assessment

Aug 18, 2010 • The most definitive map of Earth’s mangrove forests has been created with Landsat data. A group of scientists, led by Chandra Giri from USGS-EROS, has calculated that approximately 53,190 square miles (137, 760 km²) of mangroves exists, 12.3 percent less than the previously accepted 2007 estimate produced by the UN’s Food […]

Map of Antarctica's Landmass
Jul 22, 2010Most Accurate Map of Antarctica’s Landmass Made From Landsat Data

Jul 22, 2010 • Antarctica may not be the world’s largest landmass — it’s the fifth-largest continent — but resting on top of that land is the world’s largest ice sheet. That ice holds more than 60 percent of Earth’s fresh water and carries the potential to significantly raise sea level. The continent is losing […]

Giuliano Guimaraes examines a fallen tree
Jul 13, 2010Study Using Landsat Finds Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion Trees

Jul 13, 2010 • A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, according to a new study funded by NASA and Tulane University. While storms have long been recognized as a cause of Amazon tree loss, this study is the first to actually quantify […]

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Jun 1, 2010Lasers Together with Landsat Help Researchers Predict Birds’ Preferred Habitat

Jun 1, 2010 • Every spring, migratory birds like the Black-throated Blue Warbler journey from tropical Caribbean or South American refuges to North American forests. But which forest patch will they call home this year? And, how can researchers predict where they choose to nest? Ecologists studying biodiversity and conservationists preserving habitats have asked these […]

woodpecker
Mar 29, 2010Extreme Weather Impacts Migratory Birds

Mar 29, 2010 • Every year, hurricanes and droughts wreak havoc on human lives and property around the world. And according to a pair of new NASA-funded studies, migratory birds also experience severe impacts to their habitats and populations from these events. While this may not seem like a revelation, the researchers were surprised to […]

urban heat island effect graphic
Dec 15, 2009Ecosystem, Vegetation Affect Intensity of Urban Heat Island Effect

Dec 15, 2009 • NASA researchers studying urban landscapes have found that the intensity of the “heat island” created by a city depends on the ecosystem it replaced and on the regional climate. Urban areas developed in arid and semi-arid regions show far less heating compared with the surrounding countryside than cities built amid forested […]

NASA researcher Lola Fatoyinbo with one of her research assistants
Aug 20, 2009Landsat Helps NASA Researcher Map Endangered African Mangroves

by: Gretchen Cook-Anderson, NASA Earth Science News Team Aug 20, 2009 • Impoverished fishermen along the coast of tropical African countries like Mozambique and Madagascar may have only a few more years to eke out a profit from one of their nations’ biggest agricultural exports. Within a few decades, they may no longer have a […]

Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) false-color composite image of the terminus region of Knik Glacier and adjacent Lake George, east of Anchorage in the Chugach Mountains
Oct 6, 2008Most Alaskan Glaciers Retreating, Thinning, and Stagnating, Says Major USGS Landsat-Based Report

Oct 6, 2008 • Most glaciers in every mountain range and island group in Alaska are experiencing significant retreat, thinning or stagnation, especially glaciers at lower elevations, according to a new book published by the U.S. Geological Survey. In places, these changes began as early as the middle of the 18th century. Although more than […]

canopy cover
Jul 18, 2008USDA Researchers Use Landsat to Estimate Horticultural Canopy Cover and Crop Water Demand

Jul 18, 2008 • Horticultural crops account for almost 50% of crop sales in the United States, and these crops are carefully managed to ensure good quality. But more information is needed about the crops’ growth and response to seasonal and climatic changes so that management practices such as irrigation can be precisely scheduled. Existing […]

Landsat-derived land use maps of St. Kitts and Nevis Islands.
Jul 10, 2008New Landsat-Based Maps of Complex Caribbean Islands Reveal Conservation Opportunities Where Sugar Cane Cultivation Has Become Unprofitable

Jul 10, 2008 • A new set of vegetation maps for five islands of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles, including Grenada, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Eustatius and Barbados, appear in the June issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science.  Most of the maps are based on Landsat imagery and are the first satellite image-based maps to […]

Landsat-derived water temperature in the Inland Bays
Apr 7, 2008Landsat Helps Locate Groundwater Discharge in Delaware

Apr 7, 2008 • The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) at the University of Delaware has released a new technical report that identifies locations of groundwater discharge to estuaries and determines locations of discharge into the Inland Bays. Using satellite imagery, the report identifies potential discharge locations by analyzing processed thermal images along with the panchromatic […]

The devastation of southern Gulf Coast forests by Hurricane Katrina was documented in before-and-after images from the Landsat 5 satellite.
Nov 15, 2007Landsat Helps Show That Forests Damaged by Hurricane Katrina Become Major Carbon Source

Nov 15, 2007 • With the help of Landsat and MODIS data, a research team has estimated that Hurricane Katrina killed or severely damaged 320 million large trees in Gulf Coast forests, which weakened the role the forests play in storing carbon from the atmosphere. The damage has led to these forests releasing large quantities […]

Asian mangrove
Oct 30, 2007A Landsat Survey of Mangroves in Tsunami Prone Regions

Oct 30, 2007 • Agricultural expansion rather than shrimp farming is the major factor responsible for the destruction of tropical mangrove forests in the tsunami-impacted regions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography. Giri and other researchers used more than 750 […]

Design concept of LDCM's Operational Land Imager instrument
Oct 25, 2007The Landsat Data Continuity Mission: Extending the Longest Legacy of Global Land Observation

Oct 25, 2007 • In a world newly awash with geospatial information, only Landsat offers a rich archive of global mid-resolution, highly calibrated, multispectral data of Earth’s landmasses. To extend this legacy, plans are in the works for a July 2011 launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), which will collect and archive data […]

Pilot Jim Demers (left) and researchers John Lekki (center) and Norman Prokop (right)
Aug 28, 2007Sensor Synergy: Great Lakes Algae Monitoring

Aug 28, 2007 • A rare bird has been flying over the Great Lakes recently, and it isn’t migrating or searching for prey. This hawkeyed species is a Learjet aircraft outfitted with an advanced imaging system. Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland modified the plane to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration […]