Dataset Open Access

Water vapor database for atmospheric correction of Landsat imagery

Frantz, David; Stellmes, Marion; Ernst, Stefan

Atmospheric correction is a crucial preprocessing step for the analysis of optical satellite imagery like Landsat. Among the radiance-modifying gases, atmospheric water vapor is spatially and temporally variable, and cannot be measured reliably from the Landsat sensors. As such, atmospheric correction of Landsat data requires spatially and temporally explicit auxiliary information about atmospheric water vapor content.

We have compiled a water vapor dataset that can be readily used to perform atmospheric correction of Landsat images. The dataset was generated by a global processing of the MODIS MOD05/MYD05 collection 6.1 products (; MODIS Atmosphere L2 Water Vapor Product. NASA MODIS Adaptive Processing System, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA: doi:10.5067/MODIS/MOD05_L2.006doi:10.5067/MODIS/MYD05_L2.006). The dataset is comprised of daily global water vapor data for February 2000 to December 2020 for each land-intersecting Worldwide Reference System 2 (WRS-2) scene, as well as a monthly climatology that can be used if no daily value is available.

The dataset was generated by the Framework for Operational Radiometric Correction for Environmental monitoring (FORCE v. 2.0 / 3.6,,, which is freely available software under the terms of the GNU General Public License v. >= 3. The water vapor dataset can be readily ingested into the FORCE Level 2 Processing System (Frantz et al. 2016, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2016.2530856) to perform atmospheric correction of Landsat imagery. This dataset is an update of and should be used from now on.

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