Dry conditions since mid-2010 have caused a large portion of the State of Texas to be in an 'exceptional' state of drought, the worst condition on the Federal government's drought monitor scale. The 12-month period between October 2010 and September 2011 was the driest in Texas since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Not only have crops and farmland been affected, the levels of many lakes in the state have decreased.
Image of the Week
Images found during the week that show change from our past that correlate to current events.
The Dead Sea is located in the Jordan Rift Valley and borders Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. It is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, which makes a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish. Minerals from the sea; however, are being extracted and touted as health benefit products.
Arcadia Lake is a reservoir located just east of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, Oklahoma.
The lake was constructed in the 1980s as part of the National Flood Control Act of 1970 and as a cooperative effort between the city of Edmond and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Arcadia Lake was created to control floods in the Deep Fork River Basin, supply water to the city of Edmond, and provide recreational resources to the surrounding communities.
While water levels of the Caspian Sea have historically fluctuated, the area has seen increasing water volume in the past two decades. The largest inland mass of water (with no outlet) is greatly influenced by the Volga River, which provides more than 80% of the lake.s volume. The Caspian, identified as either an inland sea or the largest lake in the world, is fed by over 120 rivers, but the Volga is the dominant source. Upstream precipitation in the greater Volga Basin contributes to the water levels of the Caspian.
Landsat satellite data are frequently used to monitor conditions during and after natural and anthropogenic changes to the land surface of the planet.
In 2005, large fires caused extensive damage to forested regions in the Cordillera Central, the mountains in the Dominican Republic. The fires started in the José del Carmen Ramirez National Park, on the lower reaches of Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Dominican Republic. The flames raced up the mountain, consuming the pine, palm, and broadleaf rainforests that grow at higher elevations.
Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is located along the Alabama River in the south central portion of the state.
In the past 30 years the population has grown from just under 125,000 to over 200,000. The growth has been based on increased tourism and commercial and industrial development. For example, Hyundai automobile manufacturing has located in Montgomery and is now a major employer.
Gold mining in California dates back over 200 years and has been an important industry for the state. The Mesquite Mine was established in 1957 and expanded in 1986 as gold prices climbed and the mine is now one of the largest gold mines in the country. While geologists anticipated the mine's gold would be exhausted by 1999, improved extraction methods have kept the mine in production.
Pine Island is one of the largest and fastest-moving glaciers in Antarctica. Satellite measurements have shown that the Pine Island Glacier Basin has a greater net contribution of ice to the sea than any other ice drainage basin in the world, and this has increased due to recent acceleration of the ice stream due to thinning of the glacier. As the ice shelf thins, the grounding line retreats and the speed of the glacier increases.
A new airport was authorized for the Denver, Colorado, area in 1989. In 1995, the Denver International Airport officially opened and replaced the Stapleton International Airport servicing the Denver region.
Landsat satellite data illustrate the changes in the area from before the construction and after the new airport was completed. Denver International Airport covers 53 square miles, making it the largest airport in the United States and the third largest in the world. Located 25 miles from downtown Denver, it is the 10th busiest airport in the world.
Landsat satellite data are increasingly used to track natural and anthropogenic changes to the land surface features of the planet. Changes to Bear Glacier in south central Alaska are illustrated by comparing 1980, 1989, and 2011 Landsat coverage.
Warming in the region has caused less buildup of snow, providing less material for glacial growth. As the glacier receded, ice at the end of the glacier broke off the main body, forming blocks of ice in the open water. The 2011 image shows considerable retreat of the tongue of the glacier.