Landsat satellite data illustrate the tremendous damage done by recent tornadoes which touched the ground in the southeastern United States recently.
Image of the Week
Images found during the week that show change from our past that correlate to current events.
Mississippi River Flooding
Landsat satellite data recorded major flooding in the Memphis, Tennessee, area on May 10, 2011. The Mississippi River crested at 47.87 feet on May 10. That crest represents the second highest rise in recent history; the highest recorded was 48.7 feet in 1937.
The Landsat data are being used to monitor the flood rate and the effects of the flooding in the region. Five surrounding counties have been declared disaster areas and the costs of the flooding will approach $1 billion.
The lower Mississippi River is rising to nearly the record height of 1927. To relieve pressure on downstream levees protecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans, gates at the Morganza Spillway were opened. The water released is inundating the Atchafalaya River Basin, displacing more than 25,000 residents, and flood levels are expected to continue rising through late May.
A series of bushfires ignited in the Australian state of Victoria in early February 2009. The fires occurred during a record-breaking heat wave and extremely dry conditions and resulted in Australia.s highest loss of life from bushfires ever recorded. Many injuries were also reported. As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on February 7, 2009, alone. Since the fires, that day has widely been referred to as Black Saturday.
The Portage Diversion system (also known as the Assiniboine River Floodway) was constructed in 1970 to divert the flow of water in the Assiniboine River to an 18-mile diversion channel that empties into Lake Manitoba.
In mid-May of 2011, the diversion channel was opened to help prevent flooding in the Winnipeg urban area. That action eased pressure on downstream dikes. The channel was closed in late May.
Located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Kutch on the west coast of India, Mundra Port is India.s largest private port. Its location provides a convenient international trade gateway to Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East.
Since operations began in 1999, the Port has developed into a major economic and transportation center for the region and for India. The port hosts extensive docks and warehouses and boasts significant modern technologies for inventory and navigation requirements.
Landsat satellite data are being used to monitor a series of large fires in northeastern Alberta, Canada.
The Richardson backcounty fires started in mid-May, 2011. Within days they combined to create the largest wildfire in Alberta since 1919, a fire still not under control. Over 700 fire fighters are working to control the fire, which have burned over 1,400,000 acres. Fire fighters are currently focusing on the southern fire areas near Fort McMurray and the oilsands mines (the mines show in light tones in the lower central portion of the imagery.)
Lake Meredith is an artificial reservoir formed by the Sanford Dam on the Canadian River in the panhandle of Texas. The lake was originally created as a major source of water for area communities and for developing recreational opportunities. Due to continuous drought, water levels have declined significantly in the past few years, leading to the record low in 2011.
Landsat satellite data, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, have proven useful for studying the effects of natural and anthropogenic change to the land surface of the planet.
The Puyehue volcano in Chile erupted on June 4, 2011, after being dormant for over 50 years. Thousands of residents were evacuated and airlines in Chile, Argentina and New Zealand cancelled flights after the ash plume rose over 10 km and drifted across the western southern hemisphere.