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.
Multispectral (approx. 4-12 bands)
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.
The USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center in Denver, Colorado, and the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, have led the development, validation, and production of the Landsat Burned Area products.
Alaska Statewide Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) Elevation Data and Satellite Imagery Status
The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) effort to acquire new statewide Alaska elevation data is complete. The overall goal of 3DEP is to complete acquisition of the first-ever national baseline of consistent high-resolution elevation data—both bare-earth and three-dimensional point clouds—collected in a timeframe of less than a decade.
The riparian reaches in the delta of the Colorado River in Mexico have undergone reductions in green vegetation from confounding pressures related to drought, precipitation declines, ground-water losses, land clearing, and fire.
Across the southwestern United States, ponderosa pine forests that experience high-severity fires are increasingly recovering as grassland or shrubland ecosystems. The uncertainty of the outcomes and the disparity in eventual ecosystem structure and functioning hamper the development of appropriate land management strategies.
The mapping and monitoring of land use and land cover (LULC) is invaluable for interdisciplinary studies assessing impacts of LULC change on hydrology, climate and regional weather, biodiversity, and many other applications.