May 2018


Lake Sunapee algal bloom
May 30, 2018Landsat 8 as a Tool for Monitoring Algal Blooms

When algae blanket a lake’s surface, loss of sunlight and—eventually—oxygen, smothers aquatic life.

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.

Blue river flowing through the Petermann Glacier
May 23, 2018Supraglacial Lakes Are Not Destabilizing Greenland’s Ice Sheets, Yet

Using Landsat 8 satellite images from 2014 to 2016, researchers have discerned when the lakes on Greenland's Petermann ice tongue formed, their movement, and changes in surface extent across time.

center-pivot irrigation crops in the Saudi desert
May 16, 2018Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater

Earth’s wet land areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier due to a variety of factors, including human water management, climate change and natural cycles.

northeast of sprague river village
Apr 26, 2018Solving the Riddle of Water Use in the Upper Klamath Basin

When it comes to water, when does less really mean more?

crop irrigation
Apr 23, 2018Landsat Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use

Researchers armed with data from the Landsat Earth-observing satellites recently teamed up with Google to track water used for irrigation.

Glen Canyon Dam
Mar 15, 2018Land Under Water: Estimating Hydropower’s Land Use Impacts

A team of Norwegian-based researchers has developed an innovative way to describe how much land it takes to generate a kilowatt-hour of electricity from hydropower.

Martha Anderson
Feb 5, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Monitoring Crop Land with Martha Anderson

Martha Anderson talks about the value of Landsat and its thermal data for understanding agricultural lands.

Leif Olmanson
Jan 30, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Minnesota Lakes with Leif Olmanson

Leif Olmanson talks about the value of Landsat data for monitoring the thousands of lakes in Minnesota.

water quality map
Jan 26, 2018UNESCO Launches a Pioneering Tool to Monitor Water Quality

Using data from Landsat and Sentinel-2, UNESCO is providing freshwater quality information at the global scale.

John Schott
Jan 9, 2018USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Tracking Water Changes with John Schott

John Schott discusses using Landsat Data over the years and how its thermal data tracks temperature changes in water bodies.

clearcut mangrove in Tanzania
Dec 15, 2017Global Mangrove Mapping with Landsat

The area of mangrove wetlands around the world has been declining over recent decades.

River Findhorn
Dec 14, 2017Measuring the Wide World of Rivers

Using Landsat to measure river widths around the world.

Andrew Elmore
Dec 14, 2017USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Changing Forest Phenology with Andrew Elmore

Elmore delves into the changing phenology of forests and how that impacts the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere.

kelp on Falkland Islands
Dec 14, 2017Floating Forests: Citizen Scientists are Mapping Giant Kelp with Landsat

Learn more about the huge citizen science kelp mapping endeavor called Floating Forests.

clear water in Florida Keys
Dec 13, 2017What Lies Beneath: Mapping Benthic Habitats with Landsat

A method for mapping coral reefs or other benthic habitats over time.

wetlands in Baylands Nature Preserve
Dec 13, 2017How Much Swamp Are We Talking Here?
Towards Better Mapping of Coastal Wetlands


Ways to better estimate the greenhouse gas contributions of wetlands.

Murray River
Dec 13, 2017Graphing a Path to Survival: Habitat Connectivity in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin

Quantifying the impact of historic land-use and hydroclimatic variability on landscape connectivity dynamics across Australia’s breadbasket.

Nunavut, Canada
Dec 11, 2017Water in Flux—Monitoring Shifting Water Body Sizes in Canada

Monitoring surface water trends in North Western Canada.

Palo Verde diversion dam
Dec 11, 2017Farm Crops for City Drops: Assessing Water Right Transfers With Landsat

Thirty-one years of observed water use trends in the Southwestern U.S.

Sarasota Bridge
Dec 11, 2017Shedding Light on Watershed Management Priorities

Learn more about a water quality modeling tool known as SPARROW.

global cropland distribution
Nov 14, 2017New Landsat-Based Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security

A new map was released today detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet.

Alan Belward
Nov 6, 2017Landsat Talks—The Karkheh River as Seen by Landsat 1993-2002

Dr. Alan Belward describes water changes around Iran's Karkheh River between 1993-2002.

Republican River's South Fork
Oct 20, 2017How Much Water Flows into Ag Irrigation? Landsat Knows

Researchers detail their use of satellite images to produce annual maps of irrigation.

Alan Belward
Oct 18, 2017USGS Video: Landsat in Action—Interview with Alan Belward

Alan Belward from the European Union's Joint Research Center discusses how Landsat helps his team promote sustainable development.

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.

Buffer vegetation along Corsica River
Jun 1, 2017Mapping Chesapeake’s Future From Today’s Land Use

USGS’ pixel-by-pixel land use forecasts offer essential road maps for restoration.

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 [...]

migratory birds at field site
Mar 27, 2017Landsat Reveals Bird Habitat Loss in California

Drought and reduced seasonal flooding of wetlands and farm fields threaten a globally important stopover site for tens of thousands of migratory shorebirds in California’s Sacramento Valley, a new Duke University-led study shows.

trumpeter swans
Jan 12, 2017Where the Wetlands Are

Documenting and protecting wetlands has become crucial to the eight states and two Canadian provinces thronging the Great Lakes.

Heimdal Glacier
Dec 23, 2016Landsat Provides Global View of Speed of Ice

Scientists are providing a near-real-time view of every large glacier and ice sheet on Earth with Landsat 8.

map of aCDOM440
Dec 16, 2016Mapping Dissolved Organic Matter in Tropical Inland Waters with Landsat 8

Using Landsat 8 to map the colored dissolved organic matter of inland tropical waters.

hardwood swamp in flordia
Dec 16, 2016Apalachicola’s Disappearing Swamp

The hardwood swamp along the Apalachicola River is slowly replaced by bottomland hardwood forest.

soybean field
Dec 16, 2016Mapping Croplands Over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer

Using Landsat to map croplands over the U.S. High Plains Aquifer.

Yamouk River Valley
Dec 16, 2016Managing Water in Conflict-Torn Regions

Understanding the relationship between land use and river flows in the Yarmouk basin.

Ucayali River movements
Dec 16, 2016The Secret Lives of Migrating Rivers

The avalanching dynamics of meandering rivers.

Sierra Nevada Mountains
Dec 15, 2016Extreme Event: 2012-2015 Snowpack Drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The water year 2015 peak snowpack was found to be the lowest over the 65-year reconstruction of peak annual snow water equivalent.

ducks
Dec 15, 2016Tracking Water Resources in California’s Central Valley

A near real-time water resources tracking and decision-support system for the Central Valley of California.

water dynamics map river confluence
Dec 15, 2016Watching Water Dynamics

How much has surface water extent varied in space and time through the past 17 years?

Hume Dame
Dec 15, 2016Environmental Flows: Managing Water in the Murray Darling Basin

How seasonal flooding impacts riparian vegetation in Australia's Murray Darling Basin.

Nevado Coropuna
Dec 14, 2016A Glacierized Volcano in Peru & El Niño

How the El Niño Southern Oscillation impacts snow cover of a glacierized volcano in Peru.

lake in Tibet
Dec 13, 2016A Bounty of New Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau

The number of lakes and water surface area on the Tibetan Plateau has changed much faster than expected.

flooding
Dec 12, 2016Mapping Historic Floods Around the World

Developing the largest database of spatial extents for historic floods.

canal structure
Dec 12, 2016Watching Water Use in the Southwest

Water use trends observed in the Southwestern U.S. over three decades.

changes to the River Ob in Siberia
Dec 9, 2016Landsat Maps Global Surface Water

Quantifying changes in global surface waters over the past 32 years.

global surface water map
Sep 1, 2016Tracking Surface Water Changes Over the Past 30 Years

The world has gained 115,000 km2 of water and 173,000 km2 of land over the past 30 years.

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.

Spartina grass on Sapelo Island
Aug 15, 2016Landsat Reveals Serious Decline in Georgia Salt Marsh Health

Scientists at the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute at Sapelo Island have found that the amount of vegetation along the Georgia coast has declined significantly in the last 30 years, spurring concerns about the overall health of marshland [...]

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019
Jun 21, 2016Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019

Even with this winter’s strong El Niño, the Sierra Nevada snowpack will likely take until 2019 to return to pre-drought levels, according to new research.