Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA and USGS Produce Most Detailed Satellite Views of Antarctica

12.03.2007
Researchers from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Golden, Colo., have woven together more than a thousand images from the Landsat 7 satellite to create the most detailed, high-resolution map ever produced of Antarctica. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) offers views of the coldest continent on Earth in 10 times greater detail than previously possible.

"These images give us incredibly detailed views of the Antarctic ice sheet surface and serve as maps for many locations that have never been mapped before," said Robert Bindschadler, chief scientist of the Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bindschadler oversaw the selection of the scenes used to create the mosaic.

Researchers at NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, have launched a Web site with support from the National Science Foundation to offer public access to the image mosaic. This site contains original images and close-ups of various areas of Antarctica, all available for download. The research group will continue to release images through this summer.

"The resolution sensitivity of the Landsat sensor is well beyond that of even the most state-of-the-art digital camera," Bindschadler said. "It's able to record subtle variations in the ice sheet's surface that tell us more about ice sheet features, the flow of the ice sheet and changes in the ice sheet's surface."

According to Bindschadler, researchers will have special interest in the new ability to zoom in on areas like Antarctica's dry valleys that lie between the ice sheets. To date, only aerial images of these locations were possible. The carefully collaged images that compose LIMA now provide clear, high-resolution images.

Through special processing of images captured by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus sensor, scientists were able to produce a true color, nearly cloud-free view of Antarctica. For the process, researchers use specialized software to stack several images of various Antarctic locations to create one larger image. The researchers also arranged the images on top of one another in a sequence that allows clear views to the surface, removing the effects of clouds contained in some images.

"Having this capability is quite exciting. Using the Web portal, scientists as well as students, teachers and others will be able to zoom in to a specific Antarctic region and adjust for various levels of detail," said Bindschadler. "This will be like having a room with a tremendous view, a detailed view from space aboard Landsat to peer down as if you were just above the ice sheet's surface."

LIMA is one of more than 228 projects funded in conjunction with the International Polar Year, an initiative 63 cooperating countries launched in March to improve scientific understanding of Earth's polar regions.

The U.S. Geological Survey manages the NASA-designed Earth-observing satellites of the Landsat Program, first launched in 1972. During the past three decades, Landsat sensors have captured two million high-resolution digital photographs of Earth's continents and surrounding coastal regions, enabling scientists to study various aspects of the planet.

To view LIMA images on the Antarctic Portal, visit:
http://lima.usgs.gov
For more information about Landsat, visit:
http://landsat.usgs.gov
For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov

Tabatha Thompson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://lima.usgs.gov
http://landsat.usgs.gov
http://www.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>