Landsat 8 Yearbook

Earth Images for Everyone

 
 

Landslide in Washington

 Before

Landsat 8
January 18, 2014

 After

Landsat 8
March 23, 2014

location map

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A major landslide occurred near Oso, Washington, on March 22, 2014, when a portion of a hillside collapsed, sending mud and debris across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. The 1 square mile (2.6-km2) slide damaged property and formed an earthen dam, blocking the river and causing a barrier lake to form. Landsat 8 acquired the January 18, 2014 and March 23, 2014 images above. The March 23rd image clearly shows the aftermath of the landslide.

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Flooding in Cambodia

 Before

Landsat 8
May 17, 2013

Landsat 8
October 24, 2013

location map

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In October 2013, heavy seasonal rains were followed by Typhoon Nari to create substantial flooding along the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers in Cambodia in Southeast Asia. The flood affected over a half million people, and over 300,000 hectares (approximately ¾ million acres) of rice fields are believed to have been destroyed.

The capital city of Phnom Penh can be seen just south of the image center.

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Bear Glacier, Alaska

 Before

Landsat 4
May 16, 1989

Landsat 8
June 11, 2013

location map

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Bear Glacier is located on the Kenai Peninsula near Seward, Alaska.

This glacier represents one of over 30 glacial outflows for the nearby Harding Icefield, which covers over 700 square miles (1,800 square km).

Bear Glacier has been receding dramatically over recent decades.

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Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

 Before

Landsat 7
January 25, 2011

Landsat 8
November 13, 2013

location map

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A large iceberg has recently separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, 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.

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Mount St. Helens, Washington

 Before

Landsat 2
August 19, 1980

Landsat 8
August 20, 2013

location map

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The volcanic blast from Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, devastated nearly 400 km2 (150 square miles) of forest within a few minutes. The 2013 image shows that much of the forest in the area has recovered. A small section on the northern slope of the volcano is still dominated by ash.

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Funny River Fire, Alaska

 Before

Landsat 8
May 20, 2014

Landsat 8
May 20, 2014

location map

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Infrared sensors allow us to see through the smoke emitted by wildfires. The image on the left displays natural color similar to a photograph. The same image on the right is processed using two infrared wavelengths that can be detected by Landsat 8.

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Rim Fire, California

 Before

Landsat 8
August 31, 2013

Landsat 8
May 4, 2014

location map

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Started on August 17, 2013, the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, California, had burned over 219,000 acres by August 31 (an area nearly 15 times the size of Manhattan Island). The 2014 image shows that the area is beginning to recover. Scientists will continue to monitor the area and track the regrowth of the forest.

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Mount Rokatenda, Indonesia

 Before

Landsat 8
August 3, 2013

Landsat 8
August 3, 2013

location map

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Landsat 8's sensor includes a new cirrus band to provide better detection of high-altitude clouds that could affect certain types of analysis, even though these clouds are not visible to the human eye in other light bands. The left image shows a composite of blue-green-red bands. The cirrus band image depicted on the right shows where the cirrus clouds have been removed from the composite image. Mount Rokatenda, Palue Island, Indonesia; acquired August 3, 2013.

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Cairo, Egypt

 Before

Landsat 5
April 6, 1987

Landsat 8
March 15, 2014

location map

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Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, located in northeastern Africa, has expanded dramatically in the past 27 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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Snowpack in California

 Before

Landsat 7
February 23, 2011

Landsat 8
February 23, 2014

location map

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After several consecutive years of below-normal precipitation, California is preparing for its most severe drought emergency in decades. The current drought is due in part to decreased rainfall along with reduced winter snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In 2013, California received less precipitation than any other year since it became a state in 1850. For 2014, there is potential for major agricultural impacts; wildfire danger is expected to be unusually high.

These images show a portion of California’s Central Valley (left side of the images) and the dwindling snowpack in the neighboring Sierra Nevada mountains as viewed by Landsat in February 2011 and 2014.

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