Analyzing Landsat-8 imagery (2014โ€“2023) to create the time series of Great Salt Lake surface area using Python in Google Colab

Timelapse of the Great Salt Lake area, based on cloud-free Landsat-8 images from 2014 to 2023, visualized by the author
  1. ๐ŸŒ… Introduction to the Great Salt Lake Shrinkage Problem
  2. ๐Ÿ’พ Downloading Landsat-8 Images
  3. ๐Ÿ“ˆ Time Series of the Great Salt Lake Area from the Statistic File
  4. โš™๏ธ Processing Landsat-8 Images
  5. ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Visualization of the Great Salt Lake Images
  6. ๐ŸŽฅ Timelapse of the Great Salt Lakeโ€™s Shrinkage
  7. ๐Ÿ“‰ Time Series of the Great Salt Lake Area from the Classified Images
  8. โš–๏ธ Comparing Timeseries from the Statistics File and Images
  9. ๐Ÿ“„ Conclusion
  10. ๐Ÿ“š References

๐ŸŒ… Introduction to the Great Salt Lake Shrinkage Problem

The Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA, is experiencing long-term shrinkage. According to several reports, the lake has shrunk by more than 30% compared to its maximum size in 1986. Several reasons have been mentioned for the declining water level in this lake, including climate change and water division for agriculture.

Concerning the climate change factor, it is reported that precipitation patterns have altered, and temperatures have risen, both contributing to diminished snowpack and reduced inflows into the lake.

Regarding the second reason, both urban and agricultural areas have been expanded in the past years. The increasing demand in both urban and agricultural sectors has further contributed to declining water levels.

The long-term decline has consequences for the ecosystem, particularly on air and water quality. The exposure of lakebed areas increases risks to air and water quality by releasing dust and salts.

As the situation is dynamic, and there are ongoing discussions about tracking declining water levels, I decided to write this post to demonstrate how we can use satellite images to monitor the changes in the lakeโ€™s surface areaโ€ฆ

Leave a Reply