National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Remote Sensing of Environment (2012), doi:10.1016/j.rse.2011.12.025


The potential of Landsat data processing to provide systematic continental scale products has been demonstrated by several projects including the NASA Web-enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project. The recent free availability of Landsat data increases the need for robust and efficient atmospheric correction algorithms applicable to large volume Landsat data sets. This paper compares the accuracy of two Landsat atmospheric correction methods: a MODIS-based method and the Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) method. Both methods are based on the 6SV radiative transfer code but have different atmospheric characterization approaches. The MODIS-based method uses the MODIS Terra derived dynamic aerosol type, aerosol optical thickness, and water vapor to atmospherically correct ETM+ acquisitions in each coincident orbit. The LEDAPS method uses aerosol characterizations derived independently from each Landsat acquisition and assumes a fixed continental aerosol type and uses ancillary water vapor. Validation results are presented comparing ETM+ atmospherically corrected data generated using these two methods with AERONET corrected ETM+ data for 95 10 km×10 km 30 m subsets, a total of nearly 8 million 30 m pixels, located across the conterminous United States. The results indicate that the MODIS-based method has better accuracy than the LEDAPS method for the ETM+ red and longer wavelength bands.