When I access Earth Explorer, I have the option for downloading images for both Landsat 8 Collection Level-1 and Level-2.

For Level-2 I have a brief description that refers to "Surface Reflectance".

I have some troubles on understanding the procedures for image correction and need the images with less need for corrections (dark object subtraction, surface reflectance, etc.)

I need this data for mining mapping.

What is the advisable Level for download?

  • You could try this site libra.developmentseed.org and just hit the i symbol on the blue menu at the top and it explains how to use the Landsat 8 there. I hope that helps.
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 1:32
  • What are you trying to acquire specifically? boundary for mined areas?
    – Amadeus
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


It looks like surface reflectance data is what you are looking for. It's been atmospherically corrected so the consistency between different images is much higher. One thing i'd like to remind you is that if you are going to use not only Landsat 8 but also other Landsat surface reflectance data (eg Landsat 4/5/7), the algorithms they used to produce these surface reflectance products are different (LaSRC vs LEDAPS). But if Landsat 8 is all you need then you don't need to worry about it.

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