Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Changing Landscape

The Texas Panhandle, from the Landsat program:

These images show a portion of the Texas Panhandle where it meets the western border of Oklahoma. The area is part of the "Granite Wash" region, which contains over 3,600 wells that mine oil and natural gas from as deep as 17,000 feet (5,182 meters) underground.
When comparing Landsat imagery from 1986 (left) and 2014 (right), many changes can be seen on the landscape. The large number of white spots in the second image indicates an overall increase in the number of oil wells. The reduced overall greenness (vegetation) in the second image was caused by several recent years of drought. Other visible changes include additional center-pivot irrigation systems (dark circles). There are also several new burn scars from wildfires that occurred in March 2014.
It looks like those wildfire scars are running in opposite directions.  That seems odd.

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