Views of the News
January 12, 2015 - Sampson Flat Fire, Australia
The Sampson Flat Fire started on January 2, 2015, near Adelaide, Australia. Changing wind conditions caused the fire to spread quickly and move erratically. By January 7, it had burned over 120 square kilometers (46 square miles). In the Landsat 8 image acquired on January 4, the burned areas are dark brown. Active fire appears red with white-blue smoke rising from it.
November 25, 2014 - Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland
A volcanic eruption that started on August 31 in Iceland shows no sign of weakening. The eruption is happening in the Holuhraun lava field, an eruptive fissure of the Bardarbunga volcano. The Landsat 8 false-color image combines shortwave infrared, near-infrared, and green wavelengths of light. In this image, the lava glows bright orange and red, and snow and ice are shades of blue-green. The natural color image is based on the visible wavelengths of light. The thermal infrared image shows relative surface temperature over the region. The hottest areas (erupted lava) are bright and colder areas (glacial ice and water bodies) are shown in dark tones.
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October 30, 2014 - 20 Million and counting!
Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. These downloads brought the total number of Landsat data downloads to more than 20 million.
This Landsat 8 scene of Juneau, Alaska, and the Juneau Icefield was one of the many downloaded on September 16. Read the full story here.
September 23, 2014 - Detailed Elevation Data-Niger River Delta
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.