Earthshots introduces remote sensing by showing examples of how environmental changes look from space.
Along some coastlines, long, narrow islands stand guard. These barrier islands are attractive to tourists, but they also protect the mainland coast from storm surge and are important beach, dune, and marsh habitats. Those islands do take a beating though.
These images focus on the southeastern elbow of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wave action, currents, winds, and tides are constantly changing the barrier islands here. Strong storms can change them quite suddenly.
In 1984, a nearly unbroken barrier island lines the Massachusetts coast at Chatham. To the south, Monomoy Island extends into the ocean like a teardrop. The other subsections of this Earthshots page show 30 years of changes to these barrier islands as seen by three different Landsat satellites.
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