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General Information Product 133a

Tracking Change Over Time—River Flooding

By U.S. Geological Survey

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (10.4 MB)Abstract

Landsat satellites have been capturing images of Earth from space since 1972. These images provide a long-term record of natural and human-induced changes on the global landscape. Comparing images from multiple years reveals slow and subtle changes as well as rapid and devastating ones. Landsat images are available from the Internet at no charge. Using the free software MultiSpec, students can track changes to the landscape over time—just like remote sensing scientists do!

The objective of the Tracking Change Over Time lesson plan is to get students excited about studying the changing Earth. Intended for students in grades 5-8, the lesson plan is flexible and may be used as a student self-guided tutorial or as a teacher-led class lesson. Enhance students' learning of geography, map reading, earth science, and problem solving by seeing landscape changes from space.

Revised March 10, 2016

First posted May 9, 2014

For additional information contact:
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
U.S. Geological Survey
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198

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Suggested citation:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2016, Tracking change over time—River flooding (ver. 2.0, March 2016): U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 133a, variously paged,

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