Canal in 1951
Canal in 1980
left image is an aerial photo of Love Canal taken in 1951. In the 1940s
and 1950s the abandoned site was used for disposal of tens of thousands
of tons of chemical wastes. Photos such as these have been used throughout
the country to help pinpoint old hazardous waste sites beneath more recent
The image on the
right shows Love Canal in 1980. Comparison of the photos illustrates the
extensive development around the canal. These buildings were later abandoned
and torn down because of dangers of the hazardous wastes.
Today, study of historic aerial photos before the beginning of new construction
can help avoid later environmental problems.
First image courtesy of Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Second image courtesy of National Ocean Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Aerial photo analysis courtesy of EPA's Environmental Photographic Interpretation
In Centralia, Pa., an underground fire has been raging through the coal
mining district since 1962. This aerial image, made with a heat-measuring
instrument, indicated the extent of the fire. The bright white areas, which
cannot be seen with the naked eye, show where the blaze had made the upper
ground level abnormally hot.
Image and aerial photo analysis courtesy of EPA's Environmental Photographic
aircraft can be used to monitor weather systems. Typhoon Ida was photographed
by a U-2 about 750 miles off the coast of the Philippines in 1958. The
storm was characterized by surface winds of more than 200 knots and the
lowest sea level atmospheric pressure ever recorded.
Courtesy of CIA
Enviropod is a 2-camera system used to locate and document sources of environmental
pollution. Designed to fit Cessna 172 or 182 aircraft, the portable pod
can be strapped to a waiting plane with no modifications. The Enviropods
allow a low cost, rapid response to environmental emergencies or routine
monitoring. (47k jpg)
From the EPA's Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center