The 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption was one of the most significant natural disasters in the U.S. in the past half-century. Landsat captured the extent of, and recovery from, the destruction.
Images from 1978 to 2011 show the massive growth of Beijing, from 7.89 million to more than 12 million people. Beijing's expansion is representative of the dramatic urbanization and industrialization of Asia during the Landsat era.
These Landsat images of Amazonian deforestation in Rondônia, a state in Western Brazil, provided conclusive, impartial evidence of the increasing loss of global tropical rain forests.
The Aral Sea in Central Asia began disappearing in the 1960s because of the diversion of its two feeder rivers for agriculture.
As Iraqi troops withdrew from Kuwait at the end of the first Gulf War, they set fire to over 650 oil wells. Landsat caught the largest oil spill in human history.
In 1988, the first publicized Landsat image of the Mexico-Guatemala border showed clear-cut forest in Mexico and untouched trees in Guatemala. This image had a profound impact on the leaders of the two nations and influenced the establishment in 1990 of Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve and other management and conservation efforts in Central America.
The Columbia Glacier in Alaska is one of many vanishing around the world. Glacier retreat is one of the most direct and understandable effects of climate change.
In 1988, fire transformed Yellowstone National Park into an apparent wasteland. Landsat captured the burn scars from the fires and the progress of recovery.
The mining of ground water for agriculture has been a significant trend globally over the last half-century, and these images of a region in Kansas highlight the trend within the United States.
In 2007, more than 1,100 Landsat 7 images were used to create the first ever, high-resolution, true color map of Antarctica. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica is a virtually cloud-free, 3-D view of Antarctica's frozen landscape.