Landsat 8 EO Products

Raw Bands

Band 10

Resolution = 100 m/px

Bandwidth = 10.6-11.2 µm

Purpose = are in the thermal infrared, or TIR – they see heat. Instead of measuring the temperature of the air, like weather stations do, they report on the ground itself, which is often much hotter.

Band 11

Resolution = 100 m/px

Bandwidth = 11.5-12.5 µm

Purpose = are in the thermal infrared, or TIR – they see heat. Instead of measuring the temperature of the air, like weather stations do, they report on the ground itself, which is often much hotter.

Band B1

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.433–0.453 µm

Purpose = senses deep blues and violets. Blue light is hard to collect from space because it’s scattered easily by tiny bits of dust and water in the air, and even by air molecules themselves. This is one reason why very distant things (like mountains on the horizon) appear blueish, and why the sky is blue. Just as we see a lot of hazy blue when we look up at space on a sunny day, Landsat 8 sees the sky below it when it looks down at us through the same air. That part of the spectrum is hard to collect with enough sensitivity to be useful, and Band 1 is the only instrument of its kind producing open data at this resolution – one of many things that make this satellite special. It’s also called the coastal/aerosol band, after its two main uses: imaging shallow water, and tracking fine particles like dust and smoke. 

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B2

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.450–0.515 µm

Purpose = scattered by the atmosphere and illuminates material in shadows better than longer wavelengths; penetrates clear water better than other colors; absorbed by chlorophyll, so plants don’t show up very brightly in this band; useful for soil/vegetation discrimination, forest type mapping, and identifying man-made features. 

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

 

Band B3

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.525–0.600 µm

Purpose = penetrates clear water fairly well, gives excellent contrast between clear and turbid (muddy) water; helps find oil on the surface of water, and vegetation (plant life); reflects more green light than any other visible color; man-made features are still visible.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B4

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.630–0.680 µm

Purpose = limited water penetration; reflects well from dead foliage, but not well from live foliage with chlorophyll; useful for identifying vegetation types, soils, and urban (city and town) features.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B5

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.845–0.885 µm

Purpose = measures the near infrared, or NIR. This part of the spectrum is especially important for ecology because healthy plants reflect it – the water in their leaves scatters the wavelengths back into the sky. By comparing it with other bands, we get indexes like NDVI, which let us measure plant health more precisely than if we only looked at visible greenness.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B6

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 1.560–1.660 µm

Purpose = cover different slices of the shortwave infrared, or SWIR. They are particularly useful for telling wet earth from dry earth, and for geology: rocks and soils that look similar in other bands often have strong contrasts in SWIR.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B7

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 2.100–2.300 µm

Purpose = cover different slices of the shortwave infrared, or SWIR. They are particularly useful for telling wet earth from dry earth, and for geology: rocks and soils that look similar in other bands often have strong contrasts in SWIR.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B8

Resolution = 15 m/px

Bandwidth = 0.500–0.680 µm

Purpose = is the panchromatic – or just pan – band. It works just like black and white film: instead of collecting visibile colors separately, it combines them into one channel. Because this sensor can see more light at once, it’s the sharpest of all the bands, with a resolution of 15 meters (50 feet).

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Band B9

Resolution = 30 m/px

Bandwidth = 1.360–1.390 µm

Purpose = shows the least, yet it’s one of the most interesting features of Landsat 8. It covers a very thin slice of wavelengths: only 1370 ± 10 nanometers. Few space-based instruments collect this part of the spectrum, because the atmosphere absorbs almost all of it. Landsat 8 turns this into an advantage. Precisely because the ground is barely visible in this band, anything that appears clearly in it must be reflecting very brightly and/or be above most of the atmosphere.

Available styles: Grayscale, Grayscale advanced, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Color Composites

False color

In this image, band 2 is displayed in blue, band 3 is displayed in green, and band 4 is displayed in red. This rendition looks rather strange - vegetation jumps out as a bright red because green vegetation readily reflects infrared light energy! It is similar to pictures taken from aircraft when using infrared film; very useful for studying vegetation.

Available styles: RGBRGB advancedReflectanceLandsat DN

Custom script: return [B02, B03, B04];

NDVI
Color map, Grayscale, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Index

The NDVI is the most well known and used vegetation index. It is a simple, but effective VI for quantifying green vegetation. The NDVI normalizes green leaf scattering in the near-infrared wavelength and chlorophyll absorption in the red wavelength.

Available styles: Color map, Grayscale, Blue/Red, Green/White Linear, Red Temperature, Index

Custom script: return [(B08 - B04) / (B08 + B04)];

True Color
Band 1, Band 2, Band 3

For the true color rendition, band 1 is displayed in the blue color, band 2 is displayed in the green color, and band 3 is displayed in the red color. The resulting image is fairly close to realistic - as though you took the picture with your camera and were riding in the satellite. But it is also pretty dull - there is little contrast and features in the image are hard to distinguish.

Available styles: RGB, RGB advanced, Reflectance, Landsat DN

Custom script: return [B01, B02, B03];