Sunny Cape Hatteras, North Carolina captured on February 6, 2017. Image ©2017 Planet cc-by-sa 4.0.

And Voila: An Island Emerges

In Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, weather and currents regularly build up broad, sloping summer beach profiles in the warm months and erode the shores into steeper, more dramatic winter profiles come November.

In late spring, 2017, however, the beach shifted in a way the public did not expect. Over just four months, an entirely new sandy island has emerged off of the Cape’s shallow shores.

A sandy island emerges. Images Captured on February 6, 2017 and June 11, 2017. Images ©2017 Planet cc-by-sa 4.0.

The before and after change is stark.

But it really starts to get interesting when we dig into our archive of sub-weekly satellite imagery over the area.

We pulled a selection of 33 satellite images, captured between February 25 and June 15 this year— that’s just under 4 months of cloud-free data—and created this rapid-fire animation.

Amidst the changing surf, and dynamic whitewater, it’s easy to track water dynamics and observe the island as it erupts from the sea and grows.

Our satellites up in space will continue to keep an eye on this new island, and we’ll track how it changes day-by-day. Discover and analyze more daily imagery from our growing archive using Planet Explorer.