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September 23, 2014 - Detailed Elevation Data-Niger River Delta

SRTM-90m Data
SRTM 3 Arc-Second (approx. 90m)
Landsat 7 - Niger River Delta
Landsat 7
December 17, 2000
SRTM-30m Data
SRTM 1 Arc-Second (approx. 30m)
SRTM Map
SRTM-90m Data
SRTM-30m Data
SRTM 3 Arc-Second (approx. 90m) SRTM 1 Arc-Second (approx. 30m)
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Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data had previously only been available worldwide at 90-meter resolution. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), NASA, and USGS are now releasing a newly processed, global SRTM 30-meter dataset.

The above images show an example of the difference between the 90-meter and 30-meter data of the Niger River Delta in western Africa. The Landsat image, also at 30-meter resolution, of the same area shows the extensive coastal estuaries, tidal flats, mangrove forests, and lowland rainforests of this part of southern Nigeria. More detailed elevation data are especially critical in such coastal settings that have small elevation changes.

For more information on the new SRTM elevation product, see the USGS Top Story here.

 

September 5, 2014 - Eruption of Mount Tavurvur

Eruption of Mount Tavurvur before
Landsat 8
April 27, 2014
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur after
Landsat 8
September 2, 2014
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur Map
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur before
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur after
April 27, 2014 September 2, 2014
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Volcanic cones and settlements mingle along the margins of the Rabaul Caldera on the northeastern tip of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain Island. Shaped like a giant cauldron, the caldera is the remaining rim of an ancient volcano. The town of Rabaul sits inside the Rabaul caldera, along the edge of a spectacular natural harbor. Eruptions from nearby Mount Tavurvur continue to happen every few years. The latest occurred on August 29, 2014, when the stratovolcano spread ash throughout the area. The two Landsat 8 images above show the area before and after the eruption. In the later image, forests unaffected by ash are green, while ash-covered forests are gray. Read the full story here.

August 28, 2014 - Oil Boom—Tioga, ND

Oil Boom before
Landsat 7
September 11, 2002
Oil Boom after
Landsat 8
August 19, 2014
Oil Boom map
Oil Boom before
Oil Boom after
September 11, 2002 August 19, 2014
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The Landsat images above show the area around Tioga, in northwestern North Dakota. Tioga sits on the Bakken Formation, which is one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. The bright dots in the images indicate the locations of oil wells. The 2014 image reveals the number of oil wells is increasing dramatically. Future Landsat images will provide more views of this changing landscape.

August 7, 2014 - Lake Erie Algae Bloom

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Before
Landsat 8
June 14, 2014
Lake Erie Algae Bloom After
Landsat 8
August 1, 2014
Lake Erie Algae Bloom Map
Lake Erie Algae Bloom Before
Lake Erie Algae Bloom After
June 14, 2014 August 1, 2014
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Algae blooms commonly happen in late summer on Lake Erie, but the blooms have been increasing in recent years. This year, north winds pushed the algae toward the water intake system for Toledo, Ohio, the urban area visible in the lower left of these Landsat 8 images. No algae are visible in the June 14 image, but the algae show up as green swirls on the surface of the water in the August 1 image. The white spots above the land and water are clouds. Read more about the algae bloom at NASA Earth Observatory.

July 22, 2014 - Wildfires in Oregon

Oregon Fires Before
Landsat 8
July 1, 2014
Oregon Fires After
Landsat 8
July 17, 2014
Oregon Location
Oregon Fires Before
Oregon Fires After
July 1, 2014 July 17, 2014
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Dry conditions have made 2014 another busy year for wildfires in the western United States. Lightning started separate fires near Malheur Lake in east-central Oregon on July 14, 2014. These Landsat images were acquired on July 1, 2014, before the fires began and again on July 17, 2014, three days after the fires started. Bright orange shows where the fires were burning at the time of the July 17 image. 

July 10, 2014 - World Cup: Rio de Janeiro

World Cup Location
Landsat 7
June 26, 2014
World Cup Location Map
World Cup Location
June 26, 2014
 

The 2014 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup championship match is Sunday, July 13, at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. In this Landsat 7 image, acquired on June 26, 2014, the green forested mountains contrast the gray urban area of Rio de Janeiro. Rio’s popular beaches that line the coast are visible as tan strips. The stadium where the action takes place on Sunday is visible as a white circle.­

June 27, 2014 - Flooding in Southeastern South Dakota

Southeastern South Dakota before flooding
Landsat 8
May 28, 2014
Southeastern South Dakota after flooding
Landsat 7
June 21, 2014
Southeastern South Dakota
Southeastern South Dakota before flooding
Southeastern South Dakota after flooding
May 28, 2014 June 21, 2014
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During June 2014, more than 13 inches of rain fell over southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and northeast Iowa.  The excessive rains caused rivers and streams to overflow; flooded fields; made roadways impassible; and damaged homes and businesses.
 
These images, collected by Landsat 7 and Landsat 8, show the area of southeastern South Dakota on May 28, 2014, and again on June 21, 2014. Both the Vermillion River (smaller river near center), and the Big Sioux River (on the right) flooded their banks.

June 20, 2014 - Fire at Iraq Oil Refinery

Fire at Iraq Oil Refinery
Landsat 8
June 18, 2014
Baiji, Iraq
Fire at Iraq Oil Refinery
June 18, 2014
 

A Landsat 8 image from June 18 shows a plume of smoke billowing from a large oil refinery in Baiji, Iraq. Located about 130 miles north of Baghdad, the Baiji plant is Iraq’s largest oil refinery, providing much of the region’s fuel for electricity and transportation. An attack on the refinery started late on June 17 by the allies of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

May 23, 2014 - Fires in California, USA

Fires Before
Landsat 8
May 9, 2014
Fires After
Landsat 7
May 17, 2014
Fires Location Map
Fires Before
Fires After
May 9, 2014 May 17, 2014
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A series of wildfires erupted along the coastal region north of San Diego, California, in mid-May 2014. The first wildfire (Bernardo Fire) began on May 13, followed by several additional fires that occurred over the following days. The May 9, 2014, Landsat 8 image shows the area before the fires began. In the Landsat 7 image acquired eight days later on May 17, 2014, the numerous burn areas appear as red tones.

For more information about these fires, go to the EROS Image Gallery at http://eros.usgs.gov/imagegallery/image-week-2.

April 2, 2014 - Urban expansion in Cairo, Egypt

Urban Grown in Cairo Egypt
Landsat 5
April 6, 1987
Urban Grown in Cairo Egypt after image
Landsat 8
March 15, 2014
Urban Grown in Cairo Egypt location map
Urban Grown in Cairo Egypt
Urban Grown in Cairo Egypt after image
April 6, 1987 March 15, 2014
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Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, located in northeastern Africa, has expanded dramatically in the past 28 years. In the Landsat images above, the contrast between the lush vegetation of irrigated fields (bright green) and the desert (tan) is very clear. Cairo, shown as the large gray expanse, increased in population from an estimated 6 million in 1986 to over 15 million in 2014. Urbanization into the neighboring desert is also noticeable by the increased size of the smaller urban areas surrounding the city.

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