Earth  ID: 3154

Urban Signatures: Evaporation (WMS)

Big cities influence the environment around them. For example, urban areas are typically warmer than their surroundings. Cities are strikingly visible in computer models that simulate the Earth's land surface. This visualization shows evaporation rates predicted by the Land Information System (LIS) for a day in June 2001. Evaporation is lower in the cities because water tends to run off pavement and into drains, rather than being absorbed by soil and plants from which it later evaporates. Only part of the global computation is shown, focusing on the highly urbanized northeast corridor in the United States, including the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington.

Visualization Credits

Jeff de La Beaujardiere (NASA): Lead Animator
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. Additional credit should go to NASA GSFC Land Information System (

Short URL to share this page:

Data Used:
Model - 2001/06/11
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.

This item is part of these series:
Land Information System

DLESE >> Human geography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Evaporation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Terrestrial Ecosystems >> Urban Lands
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Environmental Impacts >> Urbanization
GCMD >> Location >> United States Of America
NASA Science >> Earth

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