USGS EROS Archive - Landsat Archives - Landsat 8-9 OLI/TIRS Collection 2 Level-2 Science Products

Science Center Objects

Landsat 8-9 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared (TIRS) Collection 2 Level-2 Science Products 30-meter multispectral data.

Please note: Landsat 9 data will be available upon successful on-orbit checkout, which typically occurs about 3 months after launch.

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Example of the Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS Collection 2 level-2 science products

Example of the Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS Collection 2 level-2 science products. Left: Landsat 8 level-2 surface reflectance image. Right: Landsat 8 level-2 surface temperature image. The data was acquired on May 3, 2013 (path 140 row 41).

(Public domain.)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides Landsat 8-9 Operational Land Imager/Thermal Infrared Sensor (OLI/TIRS) Collection 2 Level-2 Science Products (L2SP) through EarthExplorer.  The L2SP include Surface Reflectance and Surface Temperature scene-based products.

Surface Reflectance

Surface reflectance provides an estimate of the Earth’s surface spectral reflectance as it would be measured at ground level in the absence of atmospheric scattering or absorption. The Landsat Surface Reflectance products are generated at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center at a 30-meter spatial resolution.

Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance data are generated from the Land Surface Reflectance Code (LaSRC). LaSRC makes use of the coastal aerosol band to perform aerosol inversion tests, uses auxiliary climate data from MODIS and uses a unique radiative transfer model. Additionally, LaSRC hardcodes the view zenith angle to “0”, and the solar zenith and view zenith angles are used for calculations as part of the atmospheric correction. Details about LaSRC and Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance data products can be found in the Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance Code Product Guide.

Visit the Collection 2 Landsat Surface Reflectance webpage for additional documentation and information

Surface Temperature

Surface Temperature measures the temperature of the surface of the Earth in Kelvin (K). The Surface Temperature products are generated at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center at a 30-meter spatial resolution.

The Landsat Surface Temperature product is generated from Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 thermal infrared bands, Top of Atmosphere (TOA) Reflectance, TOA Brightness temperature, Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Emissivity Database (GED) data, ASTER Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, and atmospheric profiles of geopotential height, specific humidity, and air temperature extracted from reanalysis data.

Visit the Collection 2 Landsat Surface Temperature webpage for additional documentation and information.

Product Availability

L2SPs are available for the following Landsat 8-9 OLI/TIRS acquisition dates:

  • Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS: April 2013 to Present
  • Landsat 9 OLI II/TIRS II: Available approximately 3 months after launch

Most Landsat 8-9 Collection 2 Level-1 scenes in the USGS archive can be processed to L2SP.  If a ST cannot be produced, an SR-only product is created.  Landsat Science Products inherit characteristics of the Landsat Collection 2 Level-1 data products.  Newly acquired Landsat 8 Level-2 science products are typically available within 24 hours after a scene has been processed into Level-1 Tier 1 or Tier 2 product. Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 both utilize NASA's Goddard Earth Observing System Model Version 5 Forward Processing for Instrument Teams (GOES-5 FP-IT) Atmospheric Assimilation Products for Level-2 product generation.  Visit Landsat Collection 2 Generation Timeline for an estimate of this product generation latency.

Please note the following caveats:

Surface Reflectance

  • Landsat 8-9 OLI/TIRS data cannot be processed to surface reflectance for a limited number of acquisition dates due to auxiliary data gaps. The most up-to-date information regarding these data gaps is available in the “Constraints and Caveats ” section of the Landsat Surface Reflectance Product Page.
  • Landsat 8 OLI Band 8 (panchromatic band) is not processed to Top-of Atmosphere or Surface Reflectance.
  • Surface reflectance is computed on scenes with a solar zenith angle >76 degrees. The primary physical issues with retrieving surface reflectance from high solar zenith angles (low sun angle) include:
    • Solar elevation varies more near the poles, especially when relying upon sun-synchronous observations
    • Lower solar elevations at high latitudes results in longer atmospheric paths (i.e., more scattering)
    • The degree of uncertainty in surface reflectance retrieval greatly increases, from being negligible to highly inaccurate, at solar zenith angle >76 degrees.
  • For reasons mentioned above, the data acquired over high latitudes (>65 degrees) will not be processed to surface reflectance.
  • Corrections from OLI Bands 1 and 2 (coastal aerosol and blue bands, respectively) should not be used for analysis, as they are already used within the algorithm to perform aerosol inversion tests, making them potentially unreliable.
  • Users are cautioned against using pixels flagged as high aerosol content.
  • Aerosol retrieval is attempted over all pixels, although a separate routine is used for pixels flagged by LaSRC as water. These conditions are detailed in the Aerosol QA band.
  • There are additional adverse conditions that can affect the efficacy of Landsat surface reflectance retrievals, such as:
    • Hyper-arid or snow-covered regions
    • Low sun angle conditions
    • Coastal regions where land area is small relative to adjacent water
    • Areas with extensive cloud contamination

   Surface Temperature

  • Landsat 8 TIRS-only data (LT08) cannot be processed to TOA Brightness Temperature or Surface Temperature.
  • The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Global Emissivity Dataset (ASTER GED) by Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) is used in the ST algorithm for OLI data. Where ASTER GED data is missing, there will be missing data in the Landsat Surface Temperature product.
  • Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5) Forward Processing for Instrument Teams (FP-IT) data are used in the Single Channel surface temperature algorithm for atmospheric correction. If GEOS data are unavailable (for acquisitions before Jan 1, 2000), NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Application (MERRA-2) reanalysis data are used in its place.
  • Atmospheric auxiliary data used for processing a Level 1 product into a surface temperature product are described in the Landsat Atmospheric Auxiliary Data Format Control Book.
  • Data products must contain both sunlit optical and thermal data (e.g., LC08 products for Landsat 8) to be successfully processed to surface temperature, as Landsat Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) are required to temporally adjust the ASTER GED product to the target Landsat scene. Therefore, nighttime acquisitions cannot be processed to surface temperature.
  • A known error exists in the Landsat Surface Temperature retrievals relative to clouds and possibly cloud shadows. The characterization of these issues has been documented by Cook et al., 2014

Additional Information

Algorithm Citation

Access Data

 The Landsat Collection 2 Landsat 8-9 OLI (Operational Land Imager) and TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor) Level-2 Science Products (Surface Reflectance and Surface Temperature) are available for download from EarthExplorer.

The data are located under the "Landsat" cstegory, "Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 subcategory", as "Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS C2 L2".

After reviewing the search results and selecting a scene, users will be able to download all bands or select and download selected bands.  The original Landsat scene mapping grid, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) or Polar Stereographic (PS), is retained for the Collection 2 L2SP.

The USGS Landsat no-cost and open data policy remains intact since its inception in 2008.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Collection 2 Landsat 8-9 OLI (Operational Land Imager) and TIRS (Thermal Infrared Sensor) Level-2 Science Product Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/P9OGBGM6