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May 19, 2016 - Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka

Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka
Landsat 8
March 31, 2016
Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka
Landsat 8
May 18, 2016
Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka
Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka
Landsat 8 Imagery Reveals Heavy Flooding in Sri Lanka
March 31, 2016 May 18, 2016
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Data acquired from Landsat 8 on May 18, 2016, reveals swollen waterways in flood-ravaged Sri Lanka. Three days of torrential rain in the island country just off the southern tip of India have caused massive landslides and flooding, the latter of which is evident when compared to the March 31, 2016, Landsat image. Sri Lankan officials say 75 people are initially unaccounted for after mudslides hit three farming villages in central Kegalle District, and 350,000 people have been displaced across the country. A history of clearing forests for agricultural use in the country is a potential cause of this type of flooding.

May 13, 2016 - Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray

Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray
Landsat 8
October 17, 2015
Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray
Landsat 8
May 12, 2016
Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray
Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray
Landsat 8 Shows Burn Extent, Active Fire at Fort McMurray
October 17, 2015 May 12, 2016
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Eleven days after a wildfire first sparked south of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Landsat 8’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) captured imagery of one of the most destructive infernos in Canadian history. The May 12, 2016, false-color image relies on shortwave infrared, near infrared, and red light (OLI bands 7-5-4) to show hazy blue smoke, bright orange active burning spots, and a reddish-brown burn scar that surrounds Fort McMurray as it extends east and south toward the Saskatchewan border. The fire, which began May 1, has burned an area approaching 600,000 acres, destroyed over 2,400 structures in and around Fort McMurray, and forced the evacuation of almost 90,000 people.

May 5, 2016 - Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta

Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Landsat 8
April 17, 2016
Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Landsat 8
May 3, 2016
Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Wildfire Forces Evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta
April 17, 2016 May 3, 2016
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A massive wildfire near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, fueled by dry conditions and high winds has destroyed 1,600 structures and forced more than 88,000 people to evacuate the area. On May 3, 2016, Landsat 8 acquired this false-color image of the inferno. Using shortwave infrared (SWIR) and near infrared (NIR) bands to help penetrate clouds and smoke, Landsat is able to show the active fires’ hot spots, which appear orange. Burned area is dark red, and smoke is hazy blue. The fire, which began May 1, had consumed almost 25,000 acres by May 3.

March 29, 2016 - Mississippi River Floods the Deep South

Flooding Pounds the Deep South
Landsat 8
March 4, 2016
Flooding Pounds the Deep South
Landsat 8
March 20, 2016
Flooding Pounds the Deep South
Flooding Pounds the Deep South
Flooding Pounds the Deep South
March 4, 2016 March 20, 2016
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Late winter storms March 10–12, 2016, drenched areas of Louisiana, eastern Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas with up to 20 inches of rain, resulting in significant damage and evacuations. Though earlier rainfall had pushed the Lower Mississippi River toward the top of its banks, it appears largely contained in a Landsat 8 image acquired March 4, 2016. Sixteen days later, the deep blue floodwaters spill on to the landscape surrounding Vicksburg, MS, at the center of the image. At the bottom center, the river is engorged just south of Natchez, MS.

March 22, 2016 - Alaska Earthquake Anniversary

Alaska Earthquake Anniversary
Navy Aerial Project
June 27, 1953
Alaska Earthquake Anniversary
USGA Aerial Project
August 11, 1972
Alaska Earthquake Anniversary
Alaska Earthquake Anniversary
Alaska Earthquake Anniversary
June 27, 1953 August 11, 1972
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On March 27, 52 years ago, the largest earthquake in U.S. history struck Alaska. Tsunamis and landslides swept Anchorage neighborhoods into Cook Inlet. Aerial photographs captured the quake’s dramatic impact. In the 1953 image, the Turnagain neighborhood west of the city’s downtown area is only beginning to emerge from the trees along the inlet. Eight years after the disaster, in 1972, the wooded shoreline has vanished, the bluffs now submerged in a sediment band. See the USGS EarthExplorer Web site for millions more aerial photographs in the EROS Center archive.

February 25, 2016 - Accounting for the clouds

Landsat 8 cirrus band
Landsat 8
January 6, 2016
Landsat 8 natural color composite
Landsat 8
January 6, 2016
Accounting for the clouds Map
Landsat 8 cirrus band
Landsat 8 natural color composite
January 6, 2016 January 6, 2016
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With its third-year anniversary in flight this February, Landsat 8 continues to prove its worth in treating the satellite-imaging headache that is clouds. Landsat’s newest satellite contains a spectral band on its Operational Land Imager (OLI) that identifies thin, high-altitude cirrus clouds that are difficult to see and can skew pixel data. In the image on the left, cirrus formations drift above the landscape. On the right, those cirrus clouds are difficult to discern in the natural-color Landsat 8 image that looks down on Columbia, S.C., and across the border north to Charlotte, N.C.

January 7, 2016 - New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest

New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest Before
Landsat 8
December 8, 2015
New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest After
Landsat 7
January 1, 2016
New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest Map
New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest Before
New Year’s Flooding in the Midwest After
December 8, 2015 January 1, 2016
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At the end of 2015, a series of storms dropped 6–10 inches of rain in a few days over the central part of the United States. Missouri and Illinois were particularly hard hit. Flowing north to south at the top center of the image is the Wabash River, which forms the border between Illinois and Indiana. The Wabash flows into the Ohio River. Water is blue in these images. The December 8, 2015, image shows the rivers at normal water levels. The January 1, 2016, image shows the swollen Wabash and Ohio Rivers, each of them submerging the floodplains.

October 29, 2015 - Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event

Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event Before
Landsat 8
October 7, 2014
Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event After
Landsat 8
October 26, 2015
Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event Map
Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event Before
Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event After
October 7, 2014 October 26, 2015
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This October, a system of storms caused significant flooding in most of Death Valley National Park, California. Flash floods from the storm destroyed roads and utilities, and damaged several historical structures. This image pair contrasts an October 2014 image (a year with typical precipitation) to October 2015. The false color images highlight hydrogeology; the areas in green to blue are the locations with moisture content. Especially striking is the Badwater Basin, normally a dry lakebed. In the 2015 image, it is full of water.

August 14, 2015 - Suez Canal Expansion, Egypt

Suez Canal Expansion Before
Landsat 8
August 6, 2014
Suez Canal Expansion After
Landsat 8
August 9, 2015
Suez Canal Expansion Map
Suez Canal Expansion Before
Suez Canal Expansion After
August 6, 2014 August 9, 2015
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A massive expansion project added an additional shipping lane in the Suez Canal, and it only took one year to complete. Egypt celebrated the opening of the new Suez Canal in a ceremony on August 6. The expansion includes 21 miles of new channels and will shorten waiting times. The canal’s extra lane is clearly visible in Landsat imagery. Compare the 2014 and 2015 Landsat 8 images to see the location of the new channel near Ismailia, Egypt.

May 18, 2015 - 35th Anniversary of Mount St. Helens Eruption

Mount St. Helens 1973
Landsat 1
September 15, 1973
Mount St. Helens 1983
Landsat 4
May 22, 1983
Mount St. Helens map
Mount St. Helens 1973
Mount St. Helens 1983
September 15, 1973 May 22, 1983
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The violent eruption of Mount St. Helens 35 years ago permanently changed the mountain and surrounding forest. The volcanic blast on May 18, 1980, devastated more than 150 square miles of forest within a few minutes. In the Landsat false-color images above, forest appears as bright red interspersed with patches of logging. Snow appears white, and ash is gray. Use the slider to see the widespread effects of the huge blast.

 

Mount St. Helens Today

Mount St. Helens 2014
Landsat 8
August 7, 2014

A more recent Landsat image shows gradual vegetation regrowth, as light red and pink, in the devastated area. However, the gray around the mountain is still evident, and the volcanic crater is still prominent.

 

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