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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
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