Landsat satellites have been operating since 1972, providing the longest continuous observation record of the Earth’s land surface. Over the past half century, the Landsat user community has grown exponentially, encompassing more diverse and evolving scientific research and operational uses. Understanding current and future user needs is crucial to informing the design of Landsat missions beyond Landsat 9.
Cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic inland waters are a worldwide concern and are exacerbated by high nutrient inputs and warmer waters. Blooms are appearing with increasing frequency in water bodies used for drinking water supply or recreation, a problem which will likely worsen as the climate warms.
The USGS presently operates 102 streamgaging stations distributed throughout Alaska. As many of these stations are quite remote, considerable effort is needed to collect periodic measurements and maintain gages. Thus, developing remote sensing methods for measuring streamflow in this vast, largely inaccessible State is valuable for many reasons.
Snowmelt and rain-on-snow (ROS) events enhance the liquid water content of a snowpack, which affects snow properties such as depth, density, grain size, and extent. These changes are associated with transfers of latent and sensible heat and create a positive feedback that accelerates snowmelt processes.
BOEM is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory at Goddard Space Flight Center to assess the probability of using satellite data for air quality applications, specifically through the estimation and monitoring of offshore ground level concentrations of pollutants and through improvements and
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly a global concern because they pose a threat to human and aquatic ecosystem health and cause economic damage. The most frequent and severe HABs in lakes and reservoirs are caused by cyanobacteria (CyanoHABs), the only freshwater algae that can produce toxins potent enough to adversely affect the health of humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife. Information about potential for exposure, such as bloom duration, frequency, and extent, is critical for effective management decisions, especially during periods of limited resources and funding.
Cyanobacterial blooms in eutrophic inland waters are a worldwide concern. Simple and fast detection methods would greatly aid water managers in issuing proper warnings for harmful algae.
Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness, and rugged terrain. Hyperspectral remote sensing is one method that can be used to rapidly acquire data about the distributions of surficial materials, including different types of bedrock and ground cover.
Color views of the Moon have revealed substantial distributions of water on the lunar surface in the form of molecules trapped in minerals. This discovery has fundamentally changed the prevailing view of the Moon as a sterile object. The USGS is supporting further analyses of lunar water by producing a high-precision cartographic mosaic from data collected by the NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument. These products include geodetically controlled, near-global maps of the lunar surface in visible to near-infrared wavelengths.
In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the use of winter cover crops on agricultural land has been identified as a priority conservation practice for improving soil health and reducing the loss of nutrients and sediment from farmland. Winter cover crops (such as rye, barley, wheat, and radish) are planted in the fall, following the harvest of summer row crops (such as corn, soybean, vegetables). The cover crops are typically killed the following spring to release nutrients for the subsequent cash crop.