Water body detection worldwide using spaceborne remote sensing is a challenging task. A global scale multi-temporal and multi-spectral image analysis method for water body detection was developed. The PROBA-V microsatellite has been fully operational since December 2013 and delivers daily near-global synthesis with a spatial resolution of 1 km and 333 m. The Red, Near-InfRared (NIR) and Short Wave InfRared (SWIR) bands of the atmospherically corrected 10-day synthesis images are first Hue, Saturation and Value (HSV) color transformed and subsequently used in a decision tree classification for water body detection. To minimize commission errors four additional data layers are used: the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Water Body Potential Mask (WBPM), Permanent Glacier Mask (PGM) and Volcanic Soil Mask (VSM). Threshold values on the hue and value bands, expressed by a parabolic function, are used to detect the water bodies. Beside the water bodies layer, a quality layer, based on the water bodies occurrences, is available in the output product. The performance of the Water Bodies Detection Algorithm (WBDA) was assessed using Landsat 8 scenes over 15 regions selected worldwide. A mean Commission Error (CE) of 1.5% was obtained while a mean Omission Error (OE) of 15.4% was obtained for minimum Water Surface Ratio (WSR) = 0.5 and drops to 9.8% for minimum WSR = 0.6. Here, WSR is defined as the fraction of the PROBA-V pixel covered by water as derived from high spatial resolution images, e.g., Landsat 8. Both the CE = 1.5% and OE = 9.8% (WSR = 0.6) fall within the user requirements of 15%. The WBDA is fully operational in the Copernicus Global Land Service and products are freely available.
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