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Global Surface Water

The Global Surface Water dataset was developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) within the framework of the Copernicus Programme. It is derived from Landsat 5, 7 and 8 imagery and shows various aspects of the spatio-temporal distribution of surface water between 1984 and 2020 (with annual revisions) at the global scale in six different layers.

  1. Occurrence - Intra- and inter-annual frequency of surface water presence in the entire time range.
  2. Occurrence Change Intensity - Changes in water occurrence between two epochs, the first ranging from 1984 to 1999 and the second covering 2000 to 2020.
  3. Seasonality - Intra-annual distribution of surface water in the selected review year.
  4. Recurrence - Inter-annual variability of surface water presence in a defined water period within the entire time range.
  5. Transitions - Visualises changes in the three surface water classes (1) not water, (2) seasonal water, and (3) permanent water between the first and last year in the entire time period.
  6. Extent - Maximum extent of surface water bodies in the entire time range.

Global Surface Water data is available in Sentinel Hub, read more in our Public Collections.

Please check the official Global Surface Water website for more details. Detailed information on the processing methodology for the included layers can be found in the Data Users Guide and Pekel et al. (2016) as the associated scientific publication.

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