Landsat Missions

Landsat Higher-Level Data Products

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Higher Level Science Data Products (such as Climate Data Records (CDR) and Essential Climate Variables (ECV)) can be used to document changes to Earth's terrestrial environment, and provide an authoritative basis for regional to continental scale identification of historical change, monitoring current conditions, and helping to predict future scenarios.

Higher level science data products are processed consistently to create a continuous record of the effects of climate change on Earth’s surface. They include products such as Surface Reflectance and Surface Temperature.

Additional higher level science data products represent specific geophysical and biophysical properties of the land surface, such as Burned Area, Surface Water Extent, and Snow Covered Area.

The images above are mosaics created using Landsat 8 Level-1 data (left) and Provisional Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance data (right). Images created December 2014.

The images above are mosaics created using Landsat 8 Level-1 data (left) and Provisional Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance data (right). Images created December 2014.

Important Information about Higher Level Science Data Products

Details about current and future higher level science data products, and updates to existing algorithms or processing changes, can be found on the Landsat Higher-Level Data Products page.  Notices are also added to the Mission Headlines box on the Landsat Homepage.

Available Data Products

Currently, Surface Reflectance data are available for most Landsat scenes acquired from August 1982 to present (see the Caveats and Constraints section on Landsat Surface Reflectance Web page for the exceptions). Surface Reflectance-derived Vegetation, Moisture, and Burn Ratio Spectral Indices have also been created and are available.

Other higher level data products will become available as they complete development.

The Available Data Products page provides information about higher level science data products, as well as links to data access portals and product documentation.


Landsat Surface Reflectance metadata (xml) files contain significant information that can be used to help find specific data files in the archive inventory, and to inform users of certain product characteristics. The metadata files may vary, based on which interface is used to order the product.

The Metadata page provides examples of the metadata files delivered with Surface Reflectance data products.


Data quality measures are in place to provide users indications of whether the integrity of higher level science data products has been affected by instrument artifacts, production software updates, or atmospheric conditions.

The Quality page presents how conditions that affect the collection or calculation of data values are described in the Landsat Surface Reflectance data.

Data Access

Processing requests for Surface Reflectance and other higher level science data products can be submitted at no charge, with data products ready within 1 to 3 days.

The Higher Level Science Data Access page directs users to the available ordering interfaces.


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.


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Landsat Updates

The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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Page Last Modified: 11/29/16 03:03 pm