Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

USGS Graphically Illustrates Urban Growth In America

Date:
May 3, 2004
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
A new publication from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), "Urban Growth in American Cities," provides a measured, scientific view of urbanization in 16 metropolitan areas by describing spatial changes in landscape characteristics.

Farmlands, wetlands, forests and deserts that composed the American landscape in the early 20th century have frequently been transformed during the past 30 years into mushrooming metropolitan areas as urbanization spreads across the country. Many metropolitan areas in the United States are growing at extraordinary rates.

A new publication from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), "Urban Growth in American Cities," provides a measured, scientific view of urbanization in 16 metropolitan areas by describing spatial changes in landscape characteristics, the driving forces of urbanization and the potential consequences and challenges of continued growth. The 52-page booklet features contrasting image pairs from the early 1970's and 1990's that colorfully illustrate the extent of urban development in the selected metropolitan areas. Supporting data were derived from archived satellite images that are available through The National Map http://nationalmap.usgs.gov/. An accompanying overview of historical factors in American urban growth helps explain the transformation that these areas have undergone over two decades.

"Urban growth is a vital issue that requires our careful attention from local to global scales," said Barbara Ryan, USGS Associate Director for Geography. "It is not until we begin to take a broad census of the land itself - tracking landscapes from a spatial perspective in a time scale of decades - that we can grasp the scale of the changes that have already occurred and predict the impact of changes to come."

The 16 metropolitan areas included in the study were Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Reno-Sparks, Sacramento, Seattle-Tacoma and Tampa-St.Petersburg. On average, between 1973 and 1992, these metropolitan regions averaged 173 square miles of additional urban land over the two decades with Houston, Orlando and Atlanta as the top three regions by area. The growth leaders by percentage change were Las Vegas (193%), Orlando (157%), and Phoenix (103%).

USGS scientists continue to assess the status of the Nation's land surface and to analyze trends in land use. These assessments aid decision makers in considering such critical issues as ecology of urban environments, ecosystem health, water quality and quantity, resource availability and vulnerability to natural hazards. For further information on this topic, visit http://gam.usgs.gov/index.shtml.

Copies of "Urban Growth in American Cities" are available by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS and requesting USGS Circular 1252.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to: describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Graphically Illustrates Urban Growth In America." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040503060634.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (2004, May 3). USGS Graphically Illustrates Urban Growth In America. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040503060634.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Graphically Illustrates Urban Growth In America." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040503060634.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins