The idea of a civilian Earth resources satellite was conceived in the Department of Interior in the mid-1960s. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) embarked on an initiative to develop and launch the first Earth monitoring satellite to meet the needs of resource managers and Earth scientists. The USGS entered into a ... partnership with NASA in the early 1970s to assume responsibility for the archive management and distribution of Landsat data products. On July 23, 1972, NASA launched the first in a series of satellites designed to provide repetitive global coverage of the Earth's land masses. Designated initially as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite-A (ERTS-A), it used a Nimbus-type platform that was modified to carry sensor systems and data relay equipment. When operational orbit was achieved, it was designated ERTS-1. The second in this series of Earth resources satellites (designated ERTS-B) was launched January 22, 1975. It was renamed Landsat 2 by NASA, which also renamed ERTS-1 to Landsat 1. Three additional Landsats were launched in 1978, 1982, and 1984 (Landsats 3, 4, and 5 respectively). Each successive satellite had improved sensor and communications capabilities. NASA was responsible for operation of the Landsats until the early 1980s. In January 1983 operations of the Landsat system were transferred to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Landsat system was commercialized in 1985 and became the property of Space Imaging EOSAT (later, Space Imaging) who maintained responsibility until July 1, 200l when control was returned to the federal government.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has managed the Landsat data archive since the launch of Landsat 1. This archive provides a rich collection of information about the Earth's land surface. Major characteristics and changes to the surface of the planet can be detected, measured, and analyzed using Landsat data. The effects of desertification, deforestation, pollution, ... cataclysmic volcanic activity, and other natural and anthropogenic events can be examined using data acquired from the Landsat series of Earth-observing satellites. The information obtainable from the historical and current Landsat data play a key role in studying changes to the Earths surface. Landsat data have been used by government, commercial, industrial, civilian, and educational communities in the U.S. and worldwide. They are being used to support a wide range of applications in such areas as global change research, agriculture, forestry, geology, resources management, geography, mapping, water quality, and oceanography. The types of changes that can be identified include agricultural development, deforestation, natural disasters, urbanization, and the development and degradation of water resources.
Landsat data are available from the USGS. In addition to its Landsat data management responsibility, the USGS investigates new methods of characterizing and studying changes on the land surface with Landsat data.
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The 10 meter firn temperature reading did not work much of the time at the Zoe site (mostly not a number (NAN) values). Not all ARGOS satellite passes caught both a Block 1 and a Block 2 corresponding to the same set of measurements, so they are not coincident measurements unless their julian day values match to within about 0.007 days (about 10 minutes). There are a few spurious points because of ... the communication link: sometimes the data logger and satellite transmitter would get out of sync, and values ended up in the wrong columns, etc. Investigators filtered out the obvious spurious values, but a few still exist in the data. Investigators estimated the wind direction margin of error at the Mac site to be ±1 degree clockwise from true north with no measurable offset. They estimated wind direction margin of error at the Zoe site to be ± 4 degrees clockwise from true north, but believe the measurements appeared to be approximately 4 degrees too high.
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
Province or State:
Albert, M. R., C. A. Shuman, Z. R. Courville, R. Bauer, M. A. Fahnestock, and T. A. Scambos. 2004. Extreme firn metamorphism: impact of decades of vapor transport on near-surface firn at a low-accumulation glazed site on the East Antarctic Plateau. Annals of Glaciology 39: 73-78.
Campbell Scientific, Inc. 2002. CR10X Measurement and Control Module Operator's Manual.
Courville, Z. R., M. R. ... Albert, and J. Severinghaus. 2002. Firn physical characteristics and impact on interstitial convection and diffusion in the megadunes of East Antarctica. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-06.
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Courville, Z. R., M. Albert, M. Fahnestock, L. M. Cathles. 2006. Impact of accumulation hiatus on the physical properties of firn at a low accumulation site. Journal of Geophysical Research. In review.
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Fahnestock, M. A., C. A. Shuman, M. R. Albert, and T. A. Scambos. 2002. Satellite, observational, meteorological and thermal records from two sites in the Antarctic megadunes stability of atmospheric forcing, thermal cracking, and the seasonal evolution of the thermal profile. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-03.
Fahnestock, M. A., C. A. Shuman, T. A. Scambos, M. R. Albert, T. Haran, Z. R. Courville, and R. Bauer. 2005. Mapping Antarctic megadunes and other accumulation-related features on the East Antarctic Plateau. Eos. Trans. AGU 86(52). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C13A-06.
Frezzotti, M., S. Gandolfi, F. La Marca, and S. Urbini. 2002. Snow dunes and glazed surfaces in Antarctica: new field and remote sensing data. Annals of Glaciology 34: 81-88.
Frezzotti, M., S. Gandolfi, and S. Urbini. 2002. Snow megadunes in Antarctica: sedimentary structure and genesis. Journal of Geophysical Research 107(D18), 4344: doi:10.1029/2001JD000673.
Kawamura, K., and J. P. Severinghaus. 2005. Krypton and Xenon as indicators of convective zone thickness in firn at Megadunes, Antarctica. Eos. Trans. AGU 86(52). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract PP33C-1590.
Scambos, T. A., M. A. Fahnestock, C. A. Shuman, and R. Bauer. 2002. Antarctic megadunes: characteristics and formation. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C31C-04.
Suchdeo, V. P., C. A. Shuman, T. A. Scambos, M. A. Fahnestock, M. R. Albert, and R. Bauer. 2002. Precise elevation profiles across Antarctic megadunes. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C33C-0357.
Suwa, M., and J. Severinghaus. 2002. Firn density profile at Megadunes, East Antarctica, calls for an improved densification model for low accumulation sites. Eos. Trans. AGU 85(47). Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract C33C-0359.