Fifty years of observing the Earth means Landsat has witnessed many land surface changes. A few of those changes are shocking in their sheer scale and swiftness.
A vast wetland in southern Iraq has been decimated in recent decades by a variety of factors—all documented by the consistent and objective data from Landsat satellites.
Imagery from Landsat’s first few weeks of operation in summer 1972 shows the Mesopotamian Marshes at nearly their maximum extent. Over time, Landsat shows the marshes diminish, dry up, and then partially recover.
The Mesopotamian Marshes are divided into three areas: Al Hammar, Central, and Al Hawizeh.
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