Cape Code National Seashore
Jul 18, 2018Landsat-based Global Study of World’s Beaches Shows Threat to Protected Areas

Using 30 years of Landsat data, a team of scientists and engineers from the Netherlands determined how Earth’s sandy beaches are changing.

image of Glacier Bay
Jul 11, 2018Avalanches Becoming More Frequent and Powerful in Alaska, Landsat Shows

As global temperatures rise, melting permafrost is expected to cause more frequent and hazardous landslides.

dead red gum trees
May 29, 2018Rain Showers, Flowers, and Floods—Understanding How Vegetation Responds to Flooding and Drought in Australia’s Breadbasket

Using a quarter century of Landsat data, geospatial researchers have mapped and modeled how vegetation responds to water availability across the entire Murray-Darling Basin.

banding on a TIRS (Band 10) image
Oct 31, 2017Landsat 8 Thermal Data Ghost-Free After Stray Light Exorcism

Montanaro and Gerace’s stray light “exorcism” has now placed the Landsat 8 thermal bands in-line with the accuracy of the previous (ghost-free) Landsat thermal instruments.

American Oyster
Aug 24, 2017Oyster Prospecting with Landsat 8

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Maine have demonstrated that Landsat 8 satellite data can be used to find locations where oysters farms should thrive.

Magnetic Island intertidal zone
May 25, 2017Welcome to the Intertidal Zone:
Mapping Australia’s Coast with Landsat

Using 28 years of Landsat data, an Australian research team has created a continent-wide intertidal zone extent map for the whole of the Australian coast.

algal bloom in Lake Erie 2015
May 15, 2017How Landsat Data Led to a Breakthrough for Lake Erie Toxic Algal Blooms

With the growing frequency and magnitude of toxic freshwater algal blooms becoming an increasingly worrisome public health concern, Carnegie scientists Jeff Ho and Anna Michalak, along with colleagues, have made new advances in understanding the drivers behind Lake Erie blooms and their implications for lake restoration.

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.

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.

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 sites. This discovery demonstrates that Landsat and Landsat-like satellites can be used to locate the watery graves of coastal shipwrecks.

Panmah and Choktoi glacier movement
Nov 27, 2015Animating the “Karakoram Anomaly” with Landsat

Capitalizing on the long Landsat data record and the human brain’s capacity to recognize movement, Frank Paul from the University of Zurich has created glacier animations that enable viewers to witness the complex flow of glaciers.

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 loops have led to an accelerated loss of ice sheet sections that touch the sea, but in an unexpected twist to the global warming saga, scientists have just discovered a negative feedback loop that is slowing down the Greenland Ice Sheet sections that end on land—a sliver of good news for sea-level rise.

ridge-top bristlecone pine forest
Oct 5, 2015A forest by any other name?
Semantics, carbon implications, and solutions

Using the world’s first global, Landsat-based 30-meter resolution map of tree cover, researchers found that ambiguity of the term “forest” has the potential to create 13 percent discrepancies in forest area maps. While ecologists have long understood the complexity comprised by the concept of “forest”, and while geographers have called for the term to be more uniformly defined across monitoring entities, no one had quantified the scope of the problem.

Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011
Aug 30, 2015Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011

The 2.38 million Landsat images freely downloaded in 2011, benefited the U.S. economy by $1.8 billion found a new study published this month by a team of economists from Colorado State University and the USGS Fort Collins Science Center.

Forester showing pine beetle damage
Aug 19, 2015Improved 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.

North American river widths derived from Landsat
Jul 9, 2015A Satellite View of River Width

Hydrologists from the University of North Carolina have come up with an innovative way to estimate the size of rivers via satellite images. Combing through data acquired by Landsat satellites, George Allen and Tamlin Pavelsky have compiled a new database of river widths for North America.

Percent loss of Turkey's glaciers
Jul 2, 2015Turkish Glaciers Shrink By Half

Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s.

Landsat mosaic of Australia
Mar 31, 2015Holding the Key—Australia Unlocks Its Landsat Archive

In Australia, the Unlocking the Landsat Archive (ULA) project has created a “living and accessible” archive of Landsat 5 and 7 data, for years 1998–2012.

Mountain pine beetle destruction
Mar 7, 2015Landsat-Based Insect Atlas Gives Best View of Outbreaks in Forests

Scientists for the first time have simultaneously compared widespread impacts from two of the most common forest insects in the West—mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm – an advance that could lead to more effective management policies.

Uinta Mountains
Dec 19, 2014U.S. Forest Service Uses Landsat to Improve Estimates of Forest Disturbance

Each year the U.S. Forest Service takes a census of trees, chronicling the nation’s forest heath and timber resources. Forest managers use this information to project what U.S. forests will be like in coming decades and, if needed, to adjust their forest management practices in order to safeguard sustainability.