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Open AccessArticle

High-Quality Cloud Masking of Landsat 8 Imagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(21), 2591; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11212591
Received: 25 August 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 5 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
The Landsat record represents an amazing resource for discovering land-cover changes and monitoring the Earth’s surface. However, making the most use of the available data, especially for automated applications ingesting thousands of images without human intervention, requires a robust screening of cloud and cloud-shadow, which contaminate clear views of the land surface. We constructed a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) model to semantically segment Landsat 8 images into regions labeled clear-sky, clouds, cloud-shadow, water, and snow/ice. For training, we constructed a global, hand-labeled dataset of Landsat 8 imagery; this labor-intensive process resulted in the uniquely high-quality dataset needed for the creation of a high-quality model. The CNN model achieves results on par with the ability of human interpreters, with a total accuracy of 97.1%, omitting only 3.5% of cloud pixels and 4.8% of cloud shadow pixels, which is seven to eight times fewer missed pixels than the masks distributed with the imagery. By harnessing the power of advanced tensor processing units, the classification of full images is I/O bound, making this approach a feasible method to generate masks for the entire Landsat 8 archive. View Full-Text
Keywords: Landsat; cloud masking; cloud-shadow; convolutional neural network; image segmentation; deep learning Landsat; cloud masking; cloud-shadow; convolutional neural network; image segmentation; deep learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hughes, M.J.; Kennedy, R. High-Quality Cloud Masking of Landsat 8 Imagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2591.

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: http://emapr.ceoas.oregonstate.edu/sparcs/
    Description: Dataset of Landsat 8 imagery with manually interpreted labels used for training and evaluating the algorithm described here.
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