USGS - science for a changing world

Global 30m Land Cover

Global Surface Water


The global surface water layer is a classification of persistent surface water bodies during the 2000 to 2012 interval at a 30m spatial resolution. A per pixel water classification model was applied to each Landsat scene from over 650,000 growing season images. Persistent surface water was assigned to pixels that were classified as water over 50% of the time from candidate 2000 to 2012 growing season observations, not including cloud and shadow-affected data.

Raster Values
The raster value "2" represents persistent surface water over the 2000 to 2012 time period within the mapped area (see above). Other values: 1 = pixels within the area of analysis but not water; 0 = pixels outside the area of analysis / no data. Files are unsigned 8-bit data with spatial resolution of 1 arc-second per pixel (approximately 30 meters per pixel at the equator). Data coverage is from 80° north to 60° south. It is divided into tiles of 10 x 10 degrees. Tiles over ocean area are included for completeness.
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Related Literature
How to cite this dataset:

Hansen, M.C., Potapov, P.V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S.A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S.V., Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R., Kommareddy, A., Egorov, A., Chini, L., Justice, C.O., and Townshend, J.R.G., 2013, High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change: Science, v. 342, no. 6160, p. 850-853, at

Intellectual Property Rights:

University of Maryland, Department of Geographical Sciences and USGS; use is free to all if acknowledgement is made.
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