Wetlands and surface waters are critically important for both natural and anthropogenic processes including climate regulation, the maintenance of biodiversity, and the provision of ecosystem services important for human well-being. Until recently, mapping the spatial and temporal variability of the Earth’s surface waters and wetlands would have been an impossible task.
The USGS Patterns in the Landscape–Analyses of Cause and Effect (PLACE) project has developed a new suite of surface water maps derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery. These maps leverage the MODIS daily acquisition rate and the Dynamic Surface Water Extent (DSWE) algorithm to create a record of surface water change with reduced cloud obstruction compared to Landsat-based maps.
The western United States is increasingly threatened by landscape-level changes such as alterations in precipitation patterns, heightened wildfire incidence and intensity, and increased use of ground and surface water resources by a growing human population. Watershed restoration practitioners seek to address these threats using a variety of techniques such as gabions, check dams, one-rock dams, and cross vanes.
With many years of multi-scale optical system geospatial and radiometric calibration and characterization experience, the EROS Cal/Val Center of Excellence (ECCOE) is a global leader in performing traceable measures of accuracy and assessing data quality to support credible science.
Landsat satellites have been operating since 1972, providing a continuous global record of the Earth’s land surface. The imagery is currently available at no cost through the USGS. A previous USGS study estimated that Landsat imagery provided users an annual benefit of $2.19 billion in 2011, with U.S. users accounting for $1.79 billion of those benefits.
Satellite monitoring of evergreen pinyon-juniper ecosystems in Arizona revealed an unexpected winter-peaking signal in a time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values. The interpretation of the unusual timing is that the imaged vegetation experienced maximum greenness during the coldest season of the year.
Release of On-demand Landsat Collection 1 Provisional Actual Evapotranspiration and Aquatic Reflectance
Landsat Collection 1 Provisional Actual Evapotranspiration and Provisional Aquatic Reflectance datasets became available in fiscal year 2020 and are the most recent publicly released Landsat science products. These provisional products belong to a larger suite of USGS research-quality and application-ready Landsat science products aimed at reducing the burden of data processing for the user community.
Monitoring temporal dynamics of rangelands to detect and understand change in vegetation cover and composition provides a wealth of information to improve management and sustainability. Remote sensing allows the evaluation of both abrupt and gradual rangeland change at unprecedented spatial and temporal extents.
The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides nationwide data on land cover and land cover change at 30-meter resolution. The latest available version of NLCD (NLCD 2016) quantified the United States land surface for land cover, percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy cover from 2001 through 2016 at 2- to 3-year intervals.
Landsat Collection 2 marks the second major reprocessing event of the USGS Landsat archive since 2016, resulting in several data product improvements that harness recent advancements in data processing, algorithm development, and data access and distribution capabilities. Collection 2 became available to the public December 2020 via EarthExplorer.