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March 30, 2017 - Landsat Monitors Mining at Center of North America, Near Town of Center

Center, North Dakota Before
Landsat 5
August 25, 1984
Center, North Dakota After
Landsat 8
Augugst 17, 2016
Center, North Dakota Map
Center, North Dakota Before
Center, North Dakota After
August 25, 1984 Augugst 17, 2016
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A geographer at the University of Buffalo in New York recently calculated that the town of Center, North Dakota, is the geographic center of North America. While the connection between the town’s name and its location is coincidental, Landsat sensors confirm another name the area goes by—Coal Country. In August 1984, the Landsat 5 image shows significant surface mining of lignite coal just to the southeast of town, during a summer when drought had browned the countryside. Thirty-two years later, the mining activity moved to the southwest of Center. Additional mining operation also began near the Milton R. Young Power Plant just southwest of Nelson Lake.