Image of the Week

Images found during the week that show change from our past that correlate to current events.

Land reclamation along Florida's coast

In the early 20th century a number of parcels along Florida's coasts were developed as resort sites. Swamps were filled, causeways built, and housing established, providing significant revenues for the state and areas for an expanding senior citizen population. An example of this kind of coastal development is Marco Island, a 6700 acre unit off the western coast of Florida.  Attempts were made as early as 1900 to develop the island. However, economic difficulties and the natural habitat (the Florida Everglades are within 20 miles) made development a challenge.

Brush Fires in Tasmania

Extremely hot and dry weather in southern Australia has led to a number of brush fires. On the island of Tasmania, south of the Australian continent, fires that started in early 2013 have already burned over 148,000 acres. Losses have reached $43 million and are likely to exceed $100 million. In the township of Dunalley over 40% of the structures have been destroyed. There are no reported deaths caused by the fires, though over 100 persons are listed as missing.

Savanna fires

In the summer of 2012 a series of fires burned the Cerrado savanna in northeastern Brazil. The savanna lies along the Gurgueia River and divides agricultural lands and portions of the Atlantic Dry Forest. 

Landsat imagery illustrate conditions before, during, and after the fires. The magenta tone of the August 17 and September 18 images shows the progress of the fires in the savanna and the smaller fire outbreaks in the nearby agricultural and forest lands. The October 4 image, acquired after the major burns, shows the natural rehabilitation of the savanna grasslands. 

The Launch of the Next Landsat

The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), the next generation Landsat satellite, is scheduled for launch at 10:02 a.m. PST on Monday, February 11, 2013. The LDCM spacecraft will be launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. The public is invited to view the launch from Providence Landing Park in Lompoc. 

The Lower Mississippi River

The Lower Mississippi River alluvial valley and the adjacent upland are distinct and highly diverse landscapes. The floodplain, by the very geologic processes that created it, has rich organic soils with a mix of cropland, forests, and forested wetlands. The agricultural diversity is high, ranging from rice and catfish to corn and soybeans. The uplands are mostly small-scale farmland, with hardwood forest or a mixed forest of hardwood and pine. 

Dubai’s Islands

The city of Dubai is situated along the Persian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates. These Landsat 7 images show the area in 2000 and 2012, and give a remarkable view of the changes that have taken place—both on land and in the water. 

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