Earth  ID: 13800

Landsat Helps Warn of Algae in Lakes and Rivers

From space, satellites such as the NASA and USGS Landsat 8 can help scientists identify where an algal bloom has formed in lakes or rivers. It’s a complicated data analysis process, but one that researchers are automating so resource managers around the country can use the satellite data to identify potential problems.

Nima Pahlevan and his team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have developed an algorithm to take the data collected by Landsat 8 over water, analyze it, and create a product for distribution. There are multiple, computationally intensive steps to get from the raw data to the usable product. This free-to-use data product makes it easier for more people to work with quality Landsat data.

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Landsat satellites have been consistently gathering data about our planet since 1972. They continue to improve and expand this unparalleled record of Earth's changing landscapes for the benefit of all.

Source Material


Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Lead Producer
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET): Technical Support
Adriana Manrique Gutierrez (USRA): Animator
Kate Ramsayer (Telophase): Writer
Nima Pahlevan (SSAI): Scientist
Kate Fickas (University of Utah): Scientist
Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Narrator
Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA): Editor
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

This video can be freely shared and downloaded. While the video in its entirety can be shared without permission, some individual imagery is provided by and is obtained through permission and may not be excised or remixed in other products. For more information on NASA’s media guidelines, visit

Notes on footage: 0:00;00-0:05;25, 0:19;17-0:22;08, 0:35;18-0:38;10, 0:53;16-01:02;25, 02:01;14-02:06;02 was provided courtesy of

Short URL to share this page:

Landsat 8

This item is part of these series:
Narrated Movies

SVS >> Algae Blooms
DLESE >> Biology
DLESE >> Ecology
DLESE >> Environmental science
DLESE >> Hydrology
SVS >> Landsat
SVS >> Toxic Blooms
SVS >> Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Aquatic Habitat
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Water Quality/Water Chemistry
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Toxicity
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Plant Taxonomy >> Algae
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biological Classification >> Bacteria/archaea >> Cyanobacteria (blue-green Algae)
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Aquatic Ecosystems
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Terrestrial Hydrosphere >> Water Quality/water Chemistry

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