Thursday, December 8, 2016

Image of the Day - December 5, 2016

This is the Gibson Desert in Australia which covers over 58,000 square miles. An indigenous group lived there but a drought caused them to move around in the desert and they used a controlled burning technique to stimulate crop/vegetation growth as seen in shades of blue on the left but they became lush that they were constantly susceptible to non-controlled fires so the landscape is now scarred. To the right you can see a crater which was caused by a 60 million year old impact.

Image of the day December 8

 Image of the day December 8
 Great Salt Lake 1985
 Great Salt Lake 2010
Also, check out this totally awesome 3-decade, aerial time-lapse google put together!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Photo of the Day 11/21

Image of the day 11/29

Global warming has had extensive effects in the arctic regions of the world, and is consequently changing the ecosystems present. Shown in the Landsat image is Wrangel Island (Russia) which is located in the Arctic Ocean (at about the same latitude as northern Alaska) and is one of the most restricted nature reserves in the world.

The image shows a bloom of algae surrounding the island. Between the years of 1997 and 2015, the annual production of algae has increased by an estimated 47%. This is a big deal for the aquatic environment because algae are at the base of the food web and are consumed by krill and other invertebrates, which in turn fuel the rest of the food chain.

Generally we hear about the average global temperature increase when talking about global warming, but this is not representative of what is happening in certain areas like the Arctic. When this article was published in the NY Times (Nov 22, 2016), temperatures in the arctic have been as much as 36 degrees above the average temperatures based on records from the Danish Meteorological Institute. In October of 2016, the extent of sea ice was 28.5 % below average (lowest since records were started in 1979). This is about the size of Alaska and Texas put together.

This information was taken from the NY Times Article by Carl Zimmer and can be located at

Saturday, November 26, 2016

assignment 2

This photo has been taken from Land Sat 7 _ ASTER for Palmanova city in Italy 

Image of the Day (11/22)

This image shows the paths of several qanats as they flow into the city of El Jorf, Morocco. Qanats are a system of wells and sloping underground shafts which serve to transport water underground in hot and arid climates without active pumping. In the provided image, what appears to be a continuous line is actually a series of connected wells. This imagery is important because it shows the extent of this ancient infrastructure, but it also tells a story of technological advance and potential water insecurity: when diesel water pumps were introduced to the region making widespread mechanical pumping possible the water table fell so fast that many of these qanats ran dry.  As a direct response to the lowering of the water table the number of date palms being grown in the area in the area has declined by fifty percent. In Morocco date palms serve as a natural barrier against desertification (the dark areas in the image around the city are mostly date palms). This image puts into perspective the fragility of water security and human settlement on the edge of a desert in the face of global climate change.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Image of the Day 11/24 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Image of the Day - Thanksgiving Edition - Van Gogh-esque!

​This image (provided by USGA/NASA, satellite unknown unfortunately (possibly LANDSAT 8)) captures massive phytoplankton swirls off the coast of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.  The beautiful green-yellow colors display a "Van Gogh Starry Night" take on nature.​

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Image of the day for 11/17/2016

I had selected this image (link pasted below) initially because it was an image that had recently been posted in the news, and at first glance I didn’t find much importance (no agriculture or urban areas severely fragmenting the land). Once I put my photo interpretation skills to the test, I observed two tan-colored columns of cloud dust (center of the image), which were contrastingly darker than the white clouds (south of the image). This would make sense once I re-read the header, Dust Storms of Argentina. This is apparently a common natural hazard in this region. 

On November, 3rd, 2016, this true-color image was taken from NASA’s Aqua satellite, using a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. The image credit was given to Jeff Schmaltz and the MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, which collects global imagery to monitor air quality, floods, dust storms, snow cover, agriculture. The dust storm is approximate located at the southern borders of Argentina and the coastline conjoined with the Atlantic Ocean. The smooth light brown texture represents the low plains of the Patagonia Desert and in the image there are two lakes that are ‘fed’ from the Senguerr River. Lake Musters in greenish and Lake CalhuĆ© HuapĆ­ is covered by sediment blown in from the dust storms. There was a very bad case of drought this year, affecting not only this region, but neighboring countries, such as Brazil and Paraguay. MODIS images help demonstrate the severity of natural hazards occurring in sensitive regions. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Image of the Day (11/3)

This photo is a satellite photo of a wind farm. As renewable energy becomes more and more popular we are seeing an increase in the number of wind farms across the country. This particular wind farm is the largest in the US and is located in Kern County, California. 

website link:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Image of the Day - Woojin Chang (11/10)

At one point, Aral Sea was considered as one of the four largest lakes in the world.  However, it has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s  when Soviet Union started its irrigation project.  By 2006, central portion of the lake had disappeared, and by 2014, eastern basin had dried up and became a part of desert.  These images reveal that Aral Sea will disappear in near future if no necessary change is made.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Image of the day is an image of Shadegan Wetlands in Iran taken by Landsat 8. This image is relevant to our class as it is a false color image showing the infrared reflectance of the vegetation in the agricultural fields located in the upper left corner of the image. In the areas surrounding the agricultural fields, however, there is very little or no vegetation cover at all, aside from the area occupied by the Shadegan Pond in the center of the image. There appear to be man-made reservoirs in the lower left corner of the image as they feature very straight edges which are not characteristic of natural bodies of water.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Image of the Day

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11 Image of the Day: Hurricane Matthew in Hati

This image illustrates the destruction that Hurricane Matthew left in Haiti by juxtaposing before (2013) and after (10/9/2016) images of the southern peninsula. In the "after" image, all the vegetation is gone, and the buildings have been ripped apart. This pairing of images is important for understanding the geographic extent of the devastation, in order to know where to send rescue teams or concentrate resources with aid, and also as a visual tool for those outside Haiti to get a better grasp of what is going on and be encouraged to help or contribute resources. 

Original image data available at:

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 11th "Photo" of the day

This amazing map uses many of the techniques we recently learned to show areas of forest and deforestation (in red on this map).  I was tipped off to it through an article posted on Nature's website:

I searched out the person the article was about and found their website.  This guy, Matthew Hanson, takes imagery from the satellites and uses it to find and map out areas of deforestation around the globe.  Its FASCINATING.  I was thrilled to find it and really enjoyed seeing the work this guy has done: