Annual maps of the lower-48 United States produced from Landsat data illustrate how forests changed from 1986-2010. Logging and hurricanes play a significant role in the Southeast, and fires and insect invasion damage forest canopy in the West.
Forests are living, ever changing ecosystems, affected by aging, natural disasters and human interventions.
Annual maps of the lower-48 United States produced from satellite data illustrate how these dynamic systems changed from 1986-2010. Logging and hurricanes play a significant role in the Southeast, and fires and insect invasion damage forest canopy in the West.
Trees are one of the world's best absorbers of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Understanding how trees and forests change through time is one of the first steps to understanding how active they are in pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, which is of profound interest to scientists monitoring climate change.
Developed for the North American Forest Dynamics study, scientists combined 25 years of satellite data from the joint U.S. Geological Survey/NASA Landsat satellite program with information from the U.S. Forest Service to highlight where forest canopy was disturbed.
A web video with no narration that showcases the North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) study including the visualizations that show forest loss from a mountain pine beetle outbreak, a hurricane, mining, and wildfires.
Short clip from longer video on US forest dynamics. This section shows forest disturbance across the contiguous United States from 1986-2010. Dark green pixels had no disturbance during those years. Yellow shows where a disturbance happened in a particular year.
Short clip from longer video on US forest dynamics. Protected areas around Broken Bow Lake in southeast Oklahoma remain largely undisturbed compared to the surrounding region, which flickers with the tell-tale patches of timber harvesting.
Short clip from longer video on US forest dynamics. Hurricane Hugo knocked down trees across four and a half million acres when it made landfall in South Carolina in September of 1989. The disturbance of the forest is visible in the 1990 data.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 22.214.171.124.0