The Satellite Imagery Source

Search Image Hunter Now
Posted on July 9th, 2024

Our Changing Landscape – 2024 California Superbloom

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium-resolution PlanetScope satellite imagery. The PlanetScope constellation dates back to 2016 and collects hundreds of millions of square kilometers of four and eight-band 3-meter imagery daily! In June, we looked at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland that collapsed March 26 after a cargo ship named Dali lost power and crashed into it. For the July edition of this series, we are headed to the Carrizo Plain National Monument in California to check out the snow-melt fueled 2024 Superbloom.

The PlanetScope Microsat Constellation

Click on the image above to see an animation of 3-meter natural color PlanetScope image collected over Carrizo Plain National Monument in California on March 15 and 20, and then April 2 and 11, 2024. This is one of those animations that needs little description as in the March 11th image, you can see the plain is starting to come to life with deep greens – then in the March 15th image, yellows join the mix, lightening the deep green seen just a few days before. By April 2nd, the entire valley is alive in bright green with yellow blossoms; and then on April 11th, you can see reds, orange and other deep tones take over as the yellow blooms fade. One amazing show by Mother Nature! (Images Courtesy: © Planet 2024)

PlanetScope is a constellation of more than 240 microsats referred to individually as Doves. Each Dove is able to collect up to 20,000 square kilometers (sq km) per day of 3-meter (m) 4-band multispectral (i.e. blue, green, red and near-infrared [NIR]) imagery; and newly launched SuperDoves collect 8-band multispectral adding in valuable red-edge spectral data. Across the constellation, PlanetScope is archiving more than 200 million sq km of medium-resolution imagery a day, making it the go to source for daily imagery over most locations. This massive archive dates back to 2016, offering the most complete and continuous record of spatial data on the planet since the start of the constellation’s ongoing launch schedule. Collecting 3-meter multispectral imagery is the equivalent of ‘high-resolution’ multispectral data imaged by a 75-centimer (cm) satellite (as this satellite would feature 75-cm panchromatic and 3-m multispectral), making PlanetScope an extremely competitively priced option at just $2.25 per sq km. With well registered images and nearly daily collections of most locations, PlanetScope is the ideal imagery source for this current-events focused series, Our Changing Landscape.

2024 California Superbloom over Carrizo Plain National Monument

Three hundred years ago, California’s Central Valley consisted of an expanse of grassland where animals grazed and wildflowers blanketed the landscape. Now, surrounded by urban and agriculture development, what remains is the Carrizo Plain National Monument, considered to be one of the best kept secrets in California. Since its establishment in 2001, the plain spanning around 200,000 preserved acres of grasslands plays host to an array of wildlife and plant species including several that are listed as threatened or endangered.

Prominent features on the monument include the white alkali flats of Soda Lake, Painted Rock, vast open grasslands and a broad plain rimmed by mountains. When conditions are just right, numerous wildflowers carpet the valley floor. Although the blooms are short lived, the image is breathtaking.

Soda Lake, normally a dry lake bed, is one of the dominant geographic features of the Carrizo Plain. It is the largest remaining natural alkali wetland in southern California and the only closed basin within the coastal mountains. As its name suggests, Soda Lake concentrates salts as water evaporates, leaving white deposits of sulfates and carbonates that look like baking soda.

Jeannette Marantos, staff writer for The L.A. Times, visited the monument and described it as such: “The tall grass was thick and ripply, like wind on water, and often erupted with birds that flew alongside our car and sometimes outpaced us because Soda Lake Road, the lone paved road, was pocked with gaping potholes and puddles of concerning depth.”

Thanks to ample precipitation from spring storms, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management said in March that the wildflowers are to bloom in abundance this year at the monument.

“There are goldfields and baby blue eyes on the northern end of the monument around Soda Lake. The Temblor Mountains have hillside daisies in bloom. We hope to have greater blooms throughout early April. Take notice of road conditions, recreate responsibly, and continue to check our website for updates on the bloom status,” said Monument Manager, Johna Hurl.

If you would like to find out more about using 3-meter PlanetScope imagery for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at or (303) 993-3863.




This entry was posted in The Geospatial Times and tagged , Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    The Geospatial Times Archive