Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

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At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change and produce land change data products used by researchers, resource managers, and policy makers across the nation and around the world. We also operate the Landsat satellite program with NASA, and maintain the largest civilian collection of images of the Earth’s land surface in existence, including tens of millions of satellite images. 

Eyes on Earth

Eyes on Earth

On the latest episode of our remote sensing podcast, we hear from two New Yorkers who’ve worked to apply the power of Landsat to the problem of urban heat islands.

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Image of the Week

Image of the Week

One of the most cratered landscapes on Earth is part of the Nevada Desert called Yucca Flat. Landsat 8's near-infrared and short wave infrared imaging shows a pockmarked surface perhaps more reminiscent of other planetary bodies than Earth.

Cold War Craters

News

Date published: July 20, 2021

New Land Cover Maps Capture Nearly Two Decades of Change Across the U.S.

The U.S. Geological Survey recently released updated land cover maps for the conterminous United States that depict 18 years of change to the Nation’s landscapes. New maps comparing the 2001 to 2019 National Land Cover Databases show that more than 10 percent of land cover in the Lower 48 states changed during that time, largely in forested areas.

Date published: July 9, 2021

Examples of How Landsat Supports Great Lakes Restoration

Thousands of years ago, the receding Laurentide Ice Sheet gave North America a gift: five large lakes.

Date published: July 8, 2021

Study of California Blue Oak Decline During Drought Draws Interest

A study published June 29, 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Climate, but “Hotter Drought Escalates Tree Cover Declines in Blue Oak Woodlands of California,” by four EROS scientists, already has been attracting attention.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Arizona and Landsat

Arizona is a land of massive grandeur, deep gorges, lofty mountains, immense plains, and elevated mesas—and, without question, its crown jewel is the Grand Canyon. The spectacular canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, was created when the Colorado River carved a channel through northern Arizona, revealing nearly two billion years...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2021, Arizona and Landsat: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021–3039, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213039.

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Year Published: 2021

Determination of burn severity models ranging from regional to continental scales for the conterminous United States

Identifying meaningful measures of ecological change over large areas is dependent on the quantification of robust relationships between ecological metrics and remote sensing products. Over the past several decades, ground observations of wildfire and prescribed fire severity have been acquired across hundreds of wildland fires in the United...

Picotte, Joshua J.; Cansler, C. Alina; Kolden, Crystal A.; Lutz, James A.; Key, Carl; Benson, Nathan; Robertson, Kevin

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Year Published: 2021

Hotter drought escalates tree cover declines in blue oak woodlands of California

California has, in recent years, become a hotspot of interannual climatic variability, recording devastating climate-related disturbances with severe effects on tree resources. Understanding the patterns of tree cover change associated with these events is vital for developing strategies to sustain critical habitats of endemic and threatened...

Dwomoh, Francis K; Brown, Jesslyn F.; Tollerud, Heather J.; Auch, Roger F.