Next Article in Journal
Mapping Distinct Forest Types Improves Overall Forest Identification Based on Multi-Spectral Landsat Imagery for Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region
Next Article in Special Issue
Water Constituents and Water Depth Retrieval from Sentinel-2A—A First Evaluation in an Oligotrophic Lake
Previous Article in Journal
Citizen Bio-Optical Observations from Coast- and Ocean and Their Compatibility with Ocean Colour Satellite Measurements
Previous Article in Special Issue
Ready-to-Use Methods for the Detection of Clouds, Cirrus, Snow, Shadow, Water and Clear Sky Pixels in Sentinel-2 MSI Images
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 883;

Sentinel-2A MSI and Landsat 8 OLI Provide Data Continuity for Geological Remote Sensing

Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Full-Text   |   PDF [6459 KB, uploaded 25 October 2016]   |  


Sentinel-2A MSI is the Landsat-like spatial resolution (10–60 m) super-spectral instrument of the European Space Agency (ESA), aimed at additional data continuity for global land surface monitoring with Landsat and Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) missions. Several simulation studies have been conducted in the last several years to show the potential of Sentinel-2A MSI (MultiSpectral Instrument). Now that real data are available, the first confirmations of this potential and comparisons with other operational systems are being made. This paper aims at evaluating Sentinel-2A MSI band ratio products that are relevant for geological remote sensing. A Sentinel-2A MSI and a Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) scene were processed from their respective levels L1C and L1T to level L2A (bottom of atmosphere reflectance). Then, three band ratios originally defined for Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper) were used to map mineralogy associated with a hydrothermal alteration system in southeast Spain. The results obtained with Sentinel-2A MSI were compared with those obtained with Landsat 8 OLI and a simulated Sentinel-2A MSI dataset that was used before actual data were released. Results show that the images appear similar to the human eye having a correlation of approximately 0.8 and higher, but that the associated data ranges differ significantly. The resulting products are also compared to a published geologic map of the study area, and it is shown that the resulting maps correspond with the conceptual geologic model of the epithermal deposit. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sentinel-2A MSI; Landsat 8 OLI; geology; alteration; band ratios; simulation; Cabo de Gata; Rodalquilar Sentinel-2A MSI; Landsat 8 OLI; geology; alteration; band ratios; simulation; Cabo de Gata; Rodalquilar

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary materials


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

van der Werff, H.; van der Meer, F. Sentinel-2A MSI and Landsat 8 OLI Provide Data Continuity for Geological Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 883.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top