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Mount Shasta Snowpack

Mount Shasta Snowpack

Full-size images
June 17, 2001 (2.0 MB JPEG)
June 14, 2000 (2.1 MB JPEG)

Light snowfall in the winter of 2000–01 led to a dry summer in the Pacific Northwest. The drought led to a conflict between farmers and fishing communities in the Klamath River Basin over water rights, and a series of forest fires in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

The pair of images above, both acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) aboard the Landsat 7 satellite, show the snowpack on Mt. Shasta in June 2000 and 2001. On June 14, 2000, the snow extends to the lower slopes of the 4,317-meter (14,162-foot) volcano. At nearly the same time this year (June 17, 2001) the snow had retreated well above the tree-line. The drought in the region was categorized as moderate to severe by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that streamflow during June was only about 25 percent of the average. Above and to the left of Mt. Shasta is Lake Shastina, a reservoir which is noticeably lower in the 2001 image than the 2000 image.

Images courtesy USGS EROS Data Center and the Landsat 7 Science Team