Studying the fluctuations of Crater Lake •

Last update: January 24th, 2020 at 8:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Crater Lake, which is located within the collapsed caldera of Mount Mazama in south-central Oregon.

Over the last year, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) has been measuring the height of Earth’s surface down to about 10 vertical centimeters. 

This image, which was captured by ATLAS on June 24, 2019, may be the satellite’s first overflight of a volcano.

“This transect highlights how ICESat-2 elevation measurements provide interesting observations to a diverse number of scientists,” said Lori Magruder, a scientist at the University of Texas who leads the ICESat-2 team.

“Terrestrial ecologists would be interested in looking at the terrain around the lake as an indication of habitat quality. Others might investigate the vegetation to link the canopy heights to biomass estimates. Finally, the hydrologist would be interested in the lake level as an indicator of rainfall, groundwater flow, or evaporation.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


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