Processed Thematic Mapper satellite imagery for selected areas within the U.S.-Mexico borderlands
The passage of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
establishment of the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission
as well as the EPA U.S./Mexico Border XXI Program has focused
attention to the environmental social-cultural, and economic
conditions in the United States-Mexico frontier and to the
enhanced necessity of a binational, transborder approach in
addressing problems. Towards this end, this U.S.-Mexico
borderlands Thematic Mapper selection is designed to be utilized
as fundamental part of a basic geographic information system
database for natural resource, environmental, and land-management
Dohrenwend, John C., Gray, Floyd, and Miller, Robert J., 2000, Processed Thematic Mapper satellite imagery for selected areas within the U.S.-Mexico borderlands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-309, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA.
A Landsat 4 and 5 TM scene has an instantaneous field of view
(IFOV) of 30 square meters in bands 1 through 5 and band 7, band 6
has an IFOV of 120 square meters on the ground. The resolution for
the TM sensor is shown below: Landsats 4-5 Resolution (meters) Band
1 30 Band 2 30 Band 3 30 Band 4 30 Band 5 30 Band 6 120 Band 7 30
This is a Raster data set.
It contains the following raster data types:
These processed Landsat satellite images provide high-resolution
multispectral coverage of selected areas. The characteristics of
the MSS and TM bands were selected to maximize their capabilities
for detecting and monitoring different types of Earth resources.
For example, TM band 2 can detect green reflectance from healthy
vegetation, and band 3 of TM is designed for detecting
chlorophyll absorption in vegetation. TM band 4 is ideal for
near-IR reflectance peaks in healthy green vegetation and for
detecting water- land interfaces. Wavelength of TM band 1 can
penetrate water for bathymetric mapping along coastal areas and
is useful for soil-vegetation differentiation and for
distinguishing forest types. The two mid-IR red bands on TM
(bands 5 and 7) are useful for vegetation and soil moisture
studies, and discriminating between rock and mineral types. The
thermal-IR band on TM (band 6) is designed to assist in thermal
mapping, and for soil moisture and vegetation studies. TM Bands
7, 4, and 2 have been combined to make false-color composite
images. This band combination makes vegetation appear as shades
of red, brighter reds indicating more vigorously growing
vegetation. Soils with no or sparse vegetation will range from
white (sands) to greens or browns depending on moisture and
organic matter content. Water bodies will appear blue. Deep,
clear water will be dark blue to black in color, while sediment-
laden or shallow waters will appear lighter in color. Urban areas
will appear blue-gray in color. Clouds and snow will be bright
white. They are usually distinguishable from each other by the
shadows associated with the clouds. Exposed bedrock will appear
in a wide range of colors depending on the composition and other
To provide processed satellite images of key areas along the U.
S.-Mexico border for use in a broad spectrum of studies. Landsat
data have been used by government, commercial, industrial,
civilian, and educational communities in the U.S. and worldwide.
They are being used to support a wide range of applications in
such areas as global change research, agriculture, forestry,
geology, resources management, geography, mapping, water quality,
and oceanography. Landsat data have potential applications for
monitoring the conditions of the Earth's land surface
U.S. Geological Survey, 1972, Land Satellite Multispectral Scanner (Landsat MSS): U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, SD.
The USGS entered into a partnership with
NASA in the early 1970's to assume responsibility for the
archive management and distribution of Landsat data
products. On July 23, 1972, NASA launched the first in a
series of satellites designed to provide repetitive global
coverage of the Earth's land masses. Designated initially
as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite-A (ERTS-A), it
used a Nimbus-type platform that was modified to carry
sensor systems and data relay equipment. When operational
orbit was achieved, it was designated ERTS-1. The satellite
continued to function beyond its designed life expectancy
of 1 year and finally ceased to operate on January 6, 1978,
more than 5 years after its launch date. The second in this
series of Earth resources satellites (designated ERTS-B)
was launched January 22, 1975. It was renamed Landsat 2 by
NASA, which also renamed ERTS-1 to Landsat 1. Three
additional Landsats were launched in 1978, 1982, and 1984 (
Landsats 3, 4, and 5 respectively). Each successive
satellite system had improved sensor and communications
Type_of_Source_Media:cartridge tape Source_Contribution:Remote sensing imagery along with ancillary data.
These images were processed on a Macintosh computer in Adobe
Photoshop. Band selection and color balance were chosen to
provide images useful for a broad spectrum of application.
Data sources produced in this process:
Date: 1999 (process 2 of 2)
Creation of original metadata record
Person who carried out this activity:
U.S. Geological Survey, 2000, Land Satellite (LANDSAT) Multispectral Scanner (MSS): U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, SD.
The concept of a civilian Earth resources satellite was conceived in the Department of Interior in the mid-1960's. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) embarked on an initiative to develop and launch the first Earth monitoring satellite to meet the needs of resource managers and Earth scientists. The USGS entered into a partnership with NASA in the early 1970's to assume responsibility for the archive management and distribution of Landsat data products. On July 23, 1972, NASA launched the first in a series of satellites designed to provide repetitive global coverage of the Earth's land masses.
U.S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center, 1972, LGSOWG Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) Imagery: U.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls SD.
The Global Land Information System (GLIS) and the EOSDIS Information Management System (IMS) are interactive query systems providing information on this data set.
How well have the observations been checked?
The identification of features is provided by the distinct
electromagnetic energy it emits, reflects, or otherwise
transmits. This is called the spectral signature. Other
signatures are tone (lightness or darkness), texture (surface
roughness or smoothness), pattern, shadow, shape and size are as
important. Thus, through the use of Thematic Mapper, such
elements as water features, soils, and vegetation can be
identified and distinguished from each other. The wavelength
range for the TM sensor is from the visible (blue), through the
mid- IR, into the thermal-IR portion of the electromagnetic
spectrum. Sixteen detectors for the visible and mid-IR wavelength
bands in the TM sensor provide 16 scan lines on each active scan.
Four detectors for the thermal-IR band provide four scan lines on
each active scan. The TM sensor has a spatial resolution of 30 m
for the visible, near-IR, and mid-IR wavelengths and a spatial
resolution of 120 m for the thermal-IR band.
Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, no warranty expressed or implied is made by the Geological Survey regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. The Geological Survey will warrant the delivery of this product in computer-readable format. and will offer appropriate adjustment of credit when the product is determined unreadable by correctly adjusted computer input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition. Requests for adjustments of credit must be made within 90 days from the date of this shipment from the ordering site.