Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Developing climate data records and essential climate variables from landsat data

April 15, 2011

The series of Landsat missions has compiled the longest record of satellite observation of the Earth’s land surface, extending for more than 38 years for most areas of the globe. Landsat data are particularly important as long term climate data records because the scale of observation is sufficient to differentiate between natural and human drivers of land cover change. The USGS has established consistent radiometric calibration across the Landsat TM and ETM+ sensors, and have extended the calibration back to the earlier MSS sensors. The USGS is developing capabilities to create fundamental climate data records (FCDRs), thematic climate data records (TCDRs), and essential climate variables (ECVs) from the Landsat data archive. Two high priority TCDRs were identified: surface reflectance and land surface temperature because they have direct application or are required as input to the generation of ECVs. We will focus development on a few of the terrestrial ECVs that have a high potential for being derived from Landsat data, that include land cover, albedo, fire disturbance, surface water, snow and ice, and leaf area index (LAI). We are collaborating with scientists who have demonstrated successful algorithm development and application of these science products to develop a framework of processing capabilities to support research projects and land management applications, along with an independent strategy for product validation. Our goal is to scale the creation and validation of these products from specific sites in the conterminous U.S. and Alaska, for extension to continental and global scales.

Publication Year 2011
Title Developing climate data records and essential climate variables from landsat data
Authors John Dwyer, Thomas P. Dinardo, Douglas M. Muchoney
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70156666
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center