Views of the News

Back to List

May 18, 2015 - 35th Anniversary of Mount St. Helens Eruption

Mount St. Helens 1973
Landsat 1
September 15, 1973
Mount St. Helens 1983
Landsat 4
May 22, 1983
Mount St. Helens map
Mount St. Helens 1973
Mount St. Helens 1983
September 15, 1973 May 22, 1983
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

The violent eruption of Mount St. Helens 35 years ago permanently changed the mountain and surrounding forest. The volcanic blast on May 18, 1980, devastated more than 150 square miles of forest within a few minutes. In the Landsat false-color images above, forest appears as bright red interspersed with patches of logging. Snow appears white, and ash is gray. Use the slider to see the widespread effects of the huge blast.

 

Mount St. Helens Today

Mount St. Helens 2014
Landsat 8
August 7, 2014

A more recent Landsat image shows gradual vegetation regrowth, as light red and pink, in the devastated area. However, the gray around the mountain is still evident, and the volcanic crater is still prominent.

 

April 24, 2015 - The Rio Grande in Drought

Rio Grande Before
Landsat 5
April 5, 2008
Rio Grande After
Landsat 8
March 24, 2015
Rio Grande Map
Rio Grande Before
Rio Grande After
April 5, 2008 March 24, 2015
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

The Rio Grande River runs from southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. In recent years the western United States has experienced a drought that continues to persist. Due to low rainfall and less snowmelt in the mountains, the Rio Grande River is showing the effects of this drought. In the Landsat satellite images above you can see a small portion of the river near Hatch, New Mexico. In the 2008 image, the river is the blue line flanked by green farm fields. The 2015 image shows dry patches in the riverbed where water once flowed. The waterway is now facing a fifth consecutive year of drought. 

March 4, 2015 - New land forming in the Atchafalaya Bay

New land forming in the Atchafalaya Bay Before
Landsat 5
November 7, 1984
New land forming in the Atchafalaya Bay After
Landsat 8
October 25, 2014
Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana Map
New land forming in the Atchafalaya Bay Before
New land forming in the Atchafalaya Bay After
November 7, 1984 October 25, 2014
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

While most of the delta plain along the Louisiana coast is losing ground, new land is forming in the Atchafalaya Bay at the mouths of the Wax Lake Outlet and the Atchafalaya River. In the 1950s, geologists first noticed mud deposits building up in Atchafalaya Bay, but after a severe flood in 1973, new land began to rise above the water line. Since then, the two deltas have grown considerably. The Landsat satellite images above illustrate the growth of the deltas between 1984 and 2014.

See the full story at the NASA Earth Observatory.

January 22, 2015 - Super Stadium

Super Stadium
USGS High-Resolution Orthoimage
November 1, 2008
Super Stadium
Landsat 8
January 15, 2015
Super Stadium
USGS High-Resolution Orthoimage
September 1, 2012
Super Stadium Map
Super Stadium
Super Stadium
November 1, 2008 September 1, 2012
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, will be the location of Super Bowl XLIX. As seen in the USGS High-Resolution Orthoimagery above, the stadium’s roof can open and close. Another feature about the stadium is that the natural grass field can be rolled outside to get sunlight, then rolled inside before a game. The Landsat 8 image, on the left, uses near-infrared light to display vegetation as red. The red pixels just southeast of the stadium show that at the time the image was acquired, the field was outside enjoying the sun.

January 12, 2015 - Sampson Flat Fire, Australia

Sampson Flat Fire, Australia Before
Landsat 8
August 29, 2014
Sampson Flat Fire, Australia After
Landsat 8
January 4, 2015
Sampson Flat Fire, Australia Map
Sampson Flat Fire, Australia Before
Sampson Flat Fire, Australia After
August 29, 2014 January 4, 2015
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

The Sampson Flat Fire started on January 2, 2015, near Adelaide, Australia. Changing wind conditions caused the fire to spread quickly and move erratically. By January 7, it had burned over 120 square kilometers (46 square miles). In the Landsat 8 image acquired on January 4, the burned areas are dark brown. Active fire appears red with white-blue smoke rising from it.

November 25, 2014 - Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland

Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland False Color
Landsat 8, false-color image
September 6, 2014
Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland Natural Color
Landsat 8, natural color image
September 6, 2014
Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland Thermal Infrared
Landsat 8, thermal infrared image
September 6, 2014
Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland Map
Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland False Color
Holuhraun Lava Flow, Iceland Thermal Infrared
September 6, 2014 September 6, 2014
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

A volcanic eruption that started on August 31 in Iceland shows no sign of weakening. The eruption is happening in the Holuhraun lava field, an eruptive fissure of the Bardarbunga volcano. The Landsat 8 false-color image combines shortwave infrared, near-infrared, and green wavelengths of light. In this image, the lava glows bright orange and red, and snow and ice are shades of blue-green. The natural color image is based on the visible wavelengths of light. The thermal infrared image shows relative surface temperature over the region. The hottest areas (erupted lava) are bright and colder areas (glacial ice and water bodies) are shown in dark tones.

Click here for more information.

October 30, 2014 - 20 Million and counting!

Juneau, Alaska
Landsat
September 16, 2014
Juneau, Alaska Map
Juneau, Alaska
September 16, 2014
 

Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. These downloads brought the total number of Landsat data downloads to more than 20 million.

This Landsat 8 scene of Juneau, Alaska, and the Juneau Icefield was one of the many downloaded on September 16. Read the full story here.

September 23, 2014 - Detailed Elevation Data-Niger River Delta

SRTM-90m Data
SRTM 3 Arc-Second (approx. 90m)
Landsat 7 - Niger River Delta
Landsat 7
December 17, 2000
SRTM-30m Data
SRTM 1 Arc-Second (approx. 30m)
SRTM Map
SRTM-90m Data
SRTM-30m Data
SRTM 3 Arc-Second (approx. 90m) SRTM 1 Arc-Second (approx. 30m)
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data had previously only been available worldwide at 90-meter resolution. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), NASA, and USGS are now releasing a newly processed, global SRTM 30-meter dataset.

The above images show an example of the difference between the 90-meter and 30-meter data of the Niger River Delta in western Africa. The Landsat image, also at 30-meter resolution, of the same area shows the extensive coastal estuaries, tidal flats, mangrove forests, and lowland rainforests of this part of southern Nigeria. More detailed elevation data are especially critical in such coastal settings that have small elevation changes.

For more information on the new SRTM elevation product, see the USGS Top Story here.

 

September 5, 2014 - Eruption of Mount Tavurvur

Eruption of Mount Tavurvur before
Landsat 8
April 27, 2014
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur after
Landsat 8
September 2, 2014
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur Map
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur before
Eruption of Mount Tavurvur after
April 27, 2014 September 2, 2014
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

Volcanic cones and settlements mingle along the margins of the Rabaul Caldera on the northeastern tip of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain Island. Shaped like a giant cauldron, the caldera is the remaining rim of an ancient volcano. The town of Rabaul sits inside the Rabaul caldera, along the edge of a spectacular natural harbor. Eruptions from nearby Mount Tavurvur continue to happen every few years. The latest occurred on August 29, 2014, when the stratovolcano spread ash throughout the area. The two Landsat 8 images above show the area before and after the eruption. In the later image, forests unaffected by ash are green, while ash-covered forests are gray. Read the full story here.

August 28, 2014 - Oil Boom—Tioga, ND

Oil Boom before
Landsat 7
September 11, 2002
Oil Boom after
Landsat 8
August 19, 2014
Oil Boom map
Oil Boom before
Oil Boom after
September 11, 2002 August 19, 2014
Interactive graphic - hover over image for slide bar to appear
 

The Landsat images above show the area around Tioga, in northwestern North Dakota. Tioga sits on the Bakken Formation, which is one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. The bright dots in the images indicate the locations of oil wells. The 2014 image reveals the number of oil wells is increasing dramatically. Future Landsat images will provide more views of this changing landscape.

Pages