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The new Landsat Collection-2 Digital Elevation Model

November 28, 2020

The Landsat Collection-2 distribution introduces a new global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for scene orthorectification. The new global DEM is a composite of the latest and most accurate freely available DEM sources and will include reprocessed Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) data (called NASADEM), high-resolution stereo optical data (ArcticDEM), a new National Elevation Dataset (NED) and various publicly available national datasets including the Canadian Digital Elevation Model (CDEM) and DEMs for Sweden, Norway and Finland (SNF). The new DEM will be available world-wide with few exceptions. It is anticipated that the transition from the Collection-1 DEM at 3 arcsecond to the new DEM will be seamless because processing methods to maintain a seamless transition were employed, void filling techniques were used, where persistent gaps were found, and the pixel spacing is the same between the two collections. Improvements to the vertical accuracy were realized by differencing accuracies of other elevation datasets to the new DEM. The greatest improvement occurred where ArcticDEM data were used, where an improvement of 35 m was measured. By using theses improved vertical values in a line of sight algorithm, horizontal improvements were noted in some of the most mountainous regions over multiple 30-m Landsat pixels. This new DEM will be used to process all of the scenes from Landsat 1-8 in Collection-2 processing and will be made available to the public by the end of 2020.

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