Mountain Top Removal and Deforestation Throughout the Eastern Seaboard from 2006-2010

  • Released Monday, July 23, 2012
  • Updated Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 2:01PM
  • ID: 3953

This animation traverses the eastern seaboard of the United States flying over regions of mountain top removal and deforestation (depicted in shades of orange to red).

Humans actively change the Earth's landscape. Some of these changes can be seen from space through careful analysis of satellite data. In this visualization, we fly over the United States eastern seaboard highlighting large areas of deforestation and mountain top removal (in shades of orange and red) throughout the region. NASA scientists have worked on complex algorithms that allow us to see these changes through time more easily. The data depicted here covers the years 2006-2010. Areas in orange and red are the regions have have sustained the greatest change in this 4 year period. Oranges areas represent older change (closer to 2006) and darker reds are more current (2010). Only areas with greater than 25% tree cover are shown in shades of green. A muted gray-brown color is used for areas with less than 25% tree cover.
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Print resolution image of the area from Nashville, TN to Knoxville, TN and beyond. Notice the areas of orange and red below Knoxville. The large area of deforestation is nearly the size of Knoxville itself!

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Print resolution still of the Cumberland Plateau. A close look reveals numerous areas of mountain top mining (depicted in orange and red).

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Print resolution still of the Cumberland Plateau, where West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky meet. Mountain top mining can be seen throughout this region as patches of orange and red.

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Print resolution still of southern Virginia showing numerous areas of vegetation change depicted in shades of orange and red.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

Landsat-7 Band Combination 5, 4, 3 (Collected with the ETM+ sensor)

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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