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The vivid trajectory of rainbow colors extending from lower left to upper right actually represents an unpleasant reality—the swath of destruction caused by an Alabama tornado in the spring of 2011. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in a project funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, used spatial modeling software and satellite imagery to create this two-dimensional interpolation of damage inflicted upon the region. The variations in color reflect different levels of damage in the path, with red indicating areas of greater destruction. The striping pattern outside the path represents data voids. The project is part of an ongoing DHS effort to apply remote sensing techniques to damage assessment. During natural disasters, such a capability could help pinpoint the extent of damage, and locations, which informs disaster response.

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Document Title: The Colors of Calamity
Category: Science as Art
Media Type: Photos
Date of Image/Photo:
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URL of this page: http://picturethis.pnl.gov/picturet.nsf/by+id/DRAE-,4DTNN

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