A landsat surface reflectance dataset for North America, 1990-2000

Jeffrey G. Masek, Eric F. Vermote, Nazmi E. Saleous, Robert Wolfe, Forrest G. Hall, Karl F. Huemmrich, Feng Gao, Jonathan Kutler, Teng Kui Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1335 Citations (Scopus)


The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center has processed and released 2100 Landsat Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus surface reflectance scenes, providing 30-m resolution wall-to-wall reflectance coverage for North America for epochs centered on 1990 and 2000. This dataset can support decadal assessments of environmental and land-cover change, production of reflectance-based biophysical products, and applications that merge reflectance data from multiple sensors [e.g., the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)]. The raw imagery was obtained from the orthorectified Landsat GeoCover dataset, purchased by NASA from the Earth Satellite Corporation. Through the LEDAPS project, these data were calibrated, converted to top-of-atmosphere reflectance, and then atmospherically corrected using the MODIS/6S methodology. Initial comparisons with ground-based optical thickness measurements and simultaneously acquired MODIS imagery indicate comparable uncertainty in Landsat surface reflectance compared to the standard MODIS reflectance product (the greater of 0.5% absolute reflectance or 5% of the recorded reflectance value). The rapid automated nature of the processing stream also paves the way for routine high-level products from future Landsat sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric correction
  • Landsat
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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