Long-term datasets of satellite data are very useful in ongoing studies, particularly in the field of Change Detection.
This data allows scientists to examine an area over a period of time, and see what changes (if any) are indicated, and determine the cause. Not only are the data of use in studying the past, but they can be used to forecast future changes based on past trends.
Deforestation, Polar ice loss and Climate Change studies all make use of satellite data to monitor their particular fields. The rate and extent of forest loss and ice melt can be tracked, as well as overall trends of change in our world's climate.
ESA has developed a large archive of this data from their satellites, particularly the two ERS missions and Envisat. Combined, the three satellites acquired data over the Earth for a period of 31 years. And from 2014 the Sentinel satellites will add to this archive with new imagery.
Beyond static comparisons of images acquired over the duration of the mission, methods have been developed to merge these images. They can be combined into one "multi-temporal" image that highlights the changes in a location over a period of time.
Latest Change Detection Events
04 October 2018 - Hundreds of people have been affected by fires in the hills of Tuscany since 24 September. These image comparisons from Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 show the situation at Pisa, using natural and false colour imagery to detect the affected areas.
25 September 2018 - This image comparison uses Sentinel-2 images to examine the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy on 14 August 2018. The natural and false colour imagery was acquired before and after the bridge collapsed.
20 September 2018 - These images acquired by the Landsat 5 and 8 satellites and Sentinel-2, show construction of the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge which aims to connect three major cities on the Pearl River Estuary in China.
07 August 2018 - This comparision of images taken in 2018 by the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite, shows the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
02 August 2018 - This week's Earth Watching comparison uses Sentinel-2 images in true and false colour to show the before and after affects of wildfires in Mati, Greece.
19 July 2018 - Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is featured in this Sentinel comparison. Nairobi is demonstrated using Sentinel-1 and -2 imagery to emphasise the difference between the radar and optical images the satellites provide.
13 July 2018 - This image comparison features the Mount Etna Volcano in Sicily, Italy. The Copernicus Sentinel-2 is utilised to capture the state of Mount Etna Volcano, using natural and false colour imagery.
29 June 2018 - These image comparisons feature the state of Saemangeum Seawall in South Korea. The Landsat-4, Landsat-8 and the Copernicus Sentinel-2 are utilised to capture the developmenta around the Saemangeum Seawall from 1989 to 2018, using natural and false colour imagery.
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Earth Watching Links