The USGS-NASA Landsat Science Team was established through an international competition in 2006. The team, sponsored by the USGS and NASA, consists of 18 scientists and engineers representing academia, private industry, Federal agencies, and international organizations. The team is responsible for investigating issues critical to the success of the overall Landsat program, including the upcoming LDCM. Their measure of success is the complete integration of LDCM data with past, present, and future Landsat data for the purpose of monitoring global environmental systems.
Remote Sensing Missions
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project is implementing several small UAS ( http://rmgsc.cr.usgs.gov/UAS/
US Topo is the new generation of digital topographic map series from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Arranged in the traditional 7.5-minute quadrangle format, US Topo maps allow faster and wider public distribution along with basic, on-screen geographic analysis for all users. US Topo maps use U.S.
The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is the primary elevation data product produced and distributed by the USGS in partnership with the National Geospatial Program. It provides seamless raster elevation data of the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the island territories. Data are available at grid spacings of 1- and 1/3-arc-second (about 30 meters and 10 metesr respectively) for the conterminous United States, and 1/9-arc-second (about 3 meters) for parts of the United States.
The Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center in cooperation with the Nebraska Water Science Center has completed airborne geophysical surveys of selected areas of the North and South Platte River valleys of Nebraska, including Lodgepole Creek valley, and collected data to map aquifers and bedrock topography and thus improve the understanding of groundwater - surface-water relationships to be used in water management decisions.
Mid-continent carbonate aquifers are some of the most productive in the Nation, yielding water for agriculture, industry, and public drinking supplies. Managing these water resources requires an understanding of groundwater storage, flow, and recharge, which depend on aquifer geology and structure. The Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center (CGGSC) in Denver, Colorado uses remote sensing to create two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional digital models of the complex geology associated with altered carbonate rock formations.
The USGS developed the Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) model to estimate landscape ET for various applications. Since ET is a critical component of the hydrologic cycle and the most difficult to measure, remote sensing-based techniques such as the SSEB have become very important. For early warning applications, ET provides information on crop performance and drought monitoring. For hydrological applications, ET is used to estimate groundwater recharge and withdrawal rates. Water management personnel use ET information for estimating irrigation water use and need.
Using Landsat thermal imagery with the Mapping Evapotranspiration at High Resolution and Internalized Calibration (METRIC) procedure, consumptive water use of irrigated and non-irrigated lands was estimated at 30-m resolution in the Klamath Basin, Oregon. Because ground surfaces with large ET rates are cooler than ground surfaces that have less ET, irrigated fields appear on images as being cooler than nonirrigated fields. Both the rate and spatial distribution of ET can be efficiently and accurately quantified independent of the crop development stages or the specific crop type.
Estimates of groundwater pumpage and surface water diversions for irrigation and recharge were made for the period of interest (1985-2007) using a spatially distributed soil water balance model. The model uses simple relations among weather, soils, land cover, and irrigation data, to estimate monthly irrigation requirements and surplus moisture available for recharge. The model also uses landscape actual evapotranspiration (ETa), as an indicator of vegetation biomass accumulation which is directly associated with water use.
Quantifying evapotranspiration and irrigation water use is critical to understanding the water resources in agricultural areas. The Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEB) model uses satellite imagery to estimate actual evapotranspiration (ETa) at 1- kilometer resolution. The USGS Oregon Water Science Center investigated downscaling SSEB ETa from 1 kilometer to 250 meters by correlating ETa with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument (MODIS).