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*Coming soon in 2018*

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will soon make available Landsat Level-3 Burned Area data for Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) that are consistently processed to the highest scientific standards and level of processing required for direct use in monitoring and assessing landscape change.

Landsat Burned Area product contains two acquisition-based raster data products that represent burn classification and burn probability. Landsat Burned Area products are generated from U.S. Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) Surface Reflectance data.

The Landsat Burned Area product is processed to 30-meter spatial resolution in Albers Equal Area (AEA) projection using the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) datum and gridded to a common tiling scheme.

 

Product Availability

Landsat Burned Area will become available for the conterminous U.S for the following date ranges:

  • Landsat 8 OLI: April 2013 to 2017
  • Landsat 7 ETM+: July 1999 to present
  • Landsat 5 TM: March 1984 to May 2012
  • Landsat 4 TM: March 1984 to December 1993

Figure 1.  Left: Landsat Surface Reflectance image (Landsat 7 bands 5,4,3) and Right: Burned Area for an area within Landsat CONUS ARD tile h006v010 acquired on July 7, 2003. 

 

Package Content

The Burned Area product will include two acquisition-based raster data products that represent burn classification and burn probability.  Additional product specifications can be found in the Landsat Burned Area Product Guide. The Burned Area package includes a metadata file in Extensible Markup Language (.xml) format.

The table below lists the products and filenames that are delivered with the Landsat Burned Area product.

Product

Description

Delivered File Name

Approximate File Size (Kbytes)

Burn Probability (BP)

Provides the maximum per-pixel BP; generated by comparing the current individual acquisition against composites created from seasonal average and the previous year of acquisition.

*_BP.tif

8,500

Burned Classification (BC)

Indicates if an area was burned by applying a threshold to the BP product.

*_BC.tif

200

 

Caveats and Constraints

  • A Quality Assessment process is applied to the Burned Area products prior to public release, which includes visually assessing each scene-level Burned Area product for excessive commission errors caused by factors such as incorrect cloud masks or poor georeferencing. Therefore, while the majority of Landsat scenes were used to generate Burned Area products, certain scenes may not be able to be processed to produce a scientifically viable Burned Area product.
  • Occasionally some burned areas are incorrectly classified as being water in the Burned Area product. This occurs if the input ARD Pixel QA (PIXELQA) band includes pixels that are flagged as “water, terrain, low-confidence cloud”.
  • The product metadata file (XML) lists the band information for both the burn classification and burn probability.  The units for the pixel size is “m” and should be “meters” to be compliant with the schema.

 

Data Access

Landsat Burned Area products will be available for download from EarthExplorerThe data will be located under the Landsat category, Landsat Collection 1 Level-3 Science Products subcategory, and listed as Burned Area.

 

Documentation

Landsat Burned Area Product Guide

 

Citation Information

There are no restrictions on the use of Landsat Level-3 Science Products. It is not a requirement of data use, but the following citation may be used in publication or presentation materials to acknowledge the USGS as a data source and to credit the original research.

Landsat Level 3 Burned Area (BA) Science Products courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hawbaker, T.J., Vanderhoof, M.K., Beal, Y.-J., Takacs, J.D., Schmidt, G.L., Falgout, J.T., Williams, B., Brunner, N.M., Caldwell, M.K., Picotte, J.J., Howard, S.M., Stitt, S., Dwyer, J.L., 2017a. Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable products for the conterminous United States (1984 -2015). U.S. Geological Survey Data Release. https://doi.org/10.5066/F73B5X76

Hawbaker, T.J., Vanderhoof, M.K., Beal, Y.-J., Takacs, J.D., Schmidt, G.L., Falgout, J.T., Williams, B., Fairaux, N.M., Caldwell, M.K., Picotte, J.J., Howard, S.M., Stitt, S., Dwyer, J.L., 2017b. Mapping burned areas using dense time-series of Landsat data. Remote Sensing of Environment 198, 504–522. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.027

 

References

Hawbaker, T.J., Vanderhoof, M.K., Beal, Y.-J., Takacs, J.D., Schmidt, G.L., Falgout, J.T., Williams, B., Brunner, N.M., Caldwell, M.K., Picotte, J.J., Howard, S.M., Stitt, S., Dwyer, J.L., 2017a. Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable products for the conterminous United States (1984 -2015). U.S. Geological Survey Data Release. https://doi.org/10.5066/F73B5X76

Hawbaker, T.J., Vanderhoof, M.K., Beal, Y.-J., Takacs, J.D., Schmidt, G.L., Falgout, J.T., Williams, B., Fairaux, N.M., Caldwell, M.K., Picotte, J.J., Howard, S.M., Stitt, S., Dwyer, J.L., 2017b. Mapping burned areas using dense time-series of Landsat data. Remote Sensing of Environment 198, 504–522. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.027

Vanderhoof, K.M., Brunner, N., Beal, G.Y.-J., Hawbaker, J.T., 2017. Evaluation of the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable across the Conterminous U.S. Using Commercial High-Resolution Imagery. Remote Sensing 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9070743

Vanderhoof, M.K., Fairaux, N., Beal, Y.-J.G., Hawbaker, T.J., 2017a. Validation of the USGS Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable (BAECV) across the conterminous United States. Remote Sensing of Environment 198, 393–406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.025

Vanderhoof, M.K., Fairaux, N.M., Beal, Y.-J., Hawbaker, T.J., 2017b. Data Release for the Validation of the USGS Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable (BAECV) across the conterminous U.S. U.S. Geological Survey Data Release. https://doi.org/10.5066/F7T151VX