Landsat 8–9 Collection 2 Level-2 Provisional Aquatic Reflectance

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The Landsat Collection 2 Provisional Aquatic Reflectance (AR) science product is now available through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) on-demand interface. This product has the potential to make a valuable contribution to aquatic science and environmental monitoring capabilities, especially in coastal environments and inland waters. AR products are derived from Landsat 8–9 Operational Land Imager (OLI) Level-1 reflective bands over water at a 30-meter resolution.

Landsat’s moderate spatial resolution can map optically active components of the upper water column in inland and near-shore waters. Ocean color, defined as the spectral distribution of reflected visible solar radiation upwelling from beneath the water surface, has revolutionized the field of aquatic remote sensing research. The applications of ocean color remote sensing are extensive and fundamental to understanding and monitoring both marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Collection 2 improvements include Landsat 9 availability, the addition of intermediate Rayleigh-corrected reflectance data for visible to shortwave infrared (VSWIR) bands (Bands 1–7), atmospheric auxiliary input bands, per-pixel Level-1 solar/sensor viewing zenith and azimuth angle bands, and a new water mask from improved water pixel classification.

Note that these data are provisional and subject to revision. They are being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The data have not received final approval by the USGS and are provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the data.

Images from along the North Carolina coast show the Landsat 9 Level-1 product (natural color, bands 4 [red], 3 [green], 2 [blue]) from November 14, 2021 (left), and the corresponding Collection 2 Provisional Aquatic Reflectance product (bands 4, 3, 1 [coastal aerosol]) for Landsat 9 (right). 

Disclaimer: Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Author Name
Michelle Bouchard
Author Email