Satellite Images and Data

Online Course



  1. The Need to Classify Land Use and Land Cover (Chapter 12)
  2. Natural Hazards (Chapter 13)
  3. Meteorology, Oceans, Oil and Mineral Exploration (Chapters 9 - 11)
  4. Understanding Landsat and other Remote Sensing Data (Chapters 1 - 5)
  5. The Use of Remote Sensing Data in the Construction of Useful Images: Military Strategy, Urban Planning, Pollution Tracking, etc.
  6. Case Studies

A before and after SPOT image of an earthquake that took place in Izmit, Turkey.

Unit 2 -- Natural Hazards
"Remote sensing is becoming increasingly  valuable for analyzing, warning about, and assessing damage related to natural hazards."

Summary of Chapters in This Part

Chapter 13
In this chapter, we learn about how remote sensing is being used to prevent  and aide in the relief effort of different types of natural disasters.  Many types of remote sensing systems ( SPOT, Landsat MSS, Radar Interferograms) can be used to recognize land and undersea active faults and their earthquake potential.  It is also used to evaluate the damage caused by earthquakes. 
  Floods can be monitored with Landsat and radar images. NDVI and AVHRR images are used in identifying images of vegetation that might be prone to forest fire.  Landsat and SPOT images have been used to study the morphology, structure, and distribution of volcanoes. Radar images are also used for volcanoes because of their ability to penetrate through clouds, volcanic steam, and ash. Thermal IR images have been used to find areas that might be prone to landslides.  Natural disasters can be monitored with the help of remote sensing.

Useful Outside Links, Readings, etc.

A page dedicated to remote sensing imaging of Forest fires.  The page gives many good links that either have interesting pictures of SPOT images or articles about organizations who use SPOT images in their data collecting.

An article about how satellite data helped to provide important information to speed up the relief effort  after an earthquake in El Salvador.

A general page that provides links to articles or organizations that deal with the remote sensing of volcanoes.

An article about Remote Sensing and its involvement in Flood assessment and prevention

A page that gives a Spot image and information about how to read that image to find out what each different color signifies in a flood that occurred in the Lower Mekong Basin.

Guiding Questions

Choose a natural disaster and make your own remote sensing system. What types of things will your system be able to do?  Why will your system be the best system?

How does the new technology of remote sensing and the aide it can provide towards natural disasters directly effect you and your world?

How have Spot images been used to help aide in the relief efforts of earthquakes? What kind of things can the Spot image do that one can not simply do just by walking around to survey the damage?

How is remote sensing used to aide in the combat of forest fires? Who does the information from remote sensing benefit directly during a forest fire?