Landsat Surface Reflectance-Derived Spectral Indices

Landsat Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

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Landsat Surface Reflectance and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index

This image displays a (left) Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance (SR) and (right) the SR-derived Landsat Surface Reflectance Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are derived from Landsat 4–5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI)/Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) scenes that can be successfully processed to Landsat Level-2 Surface Reflectance products.  

NDVI is used to quantify vegetation greenness and is useful in understanding vegetation density and assessing changes in plant health. NDVI is calculated as a ratio between the red (R) and near infrared (NIR) values in traditional fashion: 

(NIR - R) / (NIR + R)

In Landsat 4-7, NDVI = (Band 4 – Band 3) / (Band 4 + Band 3).

In Landsat 8, NDVI = (Band 5 – Band 4) / (Band 5 + Band 4).

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


Landsat Surface Reflectance-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Specifications
Attrribute Value
Long Name Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
File Name *_sr_ndvi.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 NDVI are produced on-demand, using the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) On Demand Interface (ESPA)

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