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Question:

Can the CFMask be used effectively without thermal data?

Answer:

Yes. While the CFMask algorithm is designed by default to be run with thermal data, it is possible to employ it without a thermal input. This may be necessary at times, such as when thermal data from Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) is not immediately available.  

Currently, non-thermal CFMask is run by removing all thermal threshold tests from the algorithm. Users should be aware that this change does alter the results of the cloud, cloud confidence, cloud shadow, and snow/ice detection routines.