Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Spectral Indices

Landsat Normalized Burn Ratio

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Landsat Surface Reflectance and Normalized Burn Ratio

This image displays a (left) Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance (SR) and (right) the SR-derived Landsat Surface Reflectance Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR).

Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Landsat Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) are available for Landsat 4–5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI)/Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) Collection 1 and Collection 2 scenes that have been processed to Landsat Level-2 Surface Reflectance products.  

NBR is used to identify burned areas and provide a measure of burn severity. It is calculated as a ratio between the NIR and SWIR values in traditional fashion.


In Landsat 4-7, NBR = (Band 4 – Band 7) / (Band 4 + Band 7).

In Landsat 8, NBR = (Band 5 – Band 7) / (Band 5 + Band 7).

NBR is delivered as a single band product specified as shown in the table below.

Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) Specifications
Attribute Value
Long Name Normalized Burn Ratio
Short Name LC8NBR, LE7NBR, LT5NBR, or LT4NBR
File Name *_sr_nbr.tif
Data Type Signed 16-bit Integer
Units Spectral Index (Band Ratio)
Valid Range -10,000 — 10,000
Fill Value -9999
Saturate Value 20,000
Scale Factor *0.0001

Data Access

Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived NBR are produced on-demand, using the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) On Demand Interface

Visit the Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Spectral Indices page for information on product contraints, citation, and reference information.