Changes to Landsat Surface Temperature Atmospheric Auxiliary Data
Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 surface temperature products are derived using a single channel algorithm which requires near contemporaneous auxiliary atmospheric characterization data. As of January 1, 2024, a new source of auxiliary data is being used for Landsat surface temperature product processing.
Vertical profiles of geopotential height, air temperature, and relative humidity are required for modelling the atmosphere to solve radiative transfer and compute the atmospheric spectral transmittance and radiance.
For Landsat data acquired before January 1, 2000, these auxiliary data are retrieved from Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Application, Version 2 (MERRA-2), and Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) Forward Processing for Instrument Teams (FP-IT) reanalysis data has been used for Landsat acquisitions after that date.
The GEOS FP-IT is being replaced with a new system: GEOS for Instrument Teams (GEOS-IT), which benefits from model enhancements and provides more realistic representations of moisture, temperature, and land surface.
For Landsat 9, Landsat 8, and Landsat 7 data acquired January 1, 2024, and forward, the surface temperature data are processed utilizing auxiliary atmospheric data retrieved from GEOS-IT.
Users can determine which auxiliary data source (MERRA-2, FP-IT or GEOS-IT) was used to generate a surface temperature product by viewing the <DATA_SOURCE_REANALYSIS> field in the Level-2 product metadata file.
Information about the GEOS-IT that will be used in Landsat Level-2 processing starting January 1, 2024, can be found on the Landsat Collection 2 Atmospheric Auxiliary Data webpage.
On EarthExplorer, a new atmospheric auxiliary dataset, GEOS-5-IT C2 Subset, will become available on January 17, 2024.
Please contact USGS EROS Customer Services with any questions about this announcement and the atmospheric auxiliary data.
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