I have a collection of Landsat8 Collection2 Level2 images (surface reflectance) and I would like to cloud mask those images somehow, so I can further make a time series of NDVI and other remote sensor indices like VCI, TCI, VHI using ArcGIS pro and model builder. I tried using the Cloud masking plugin in QGIS but it doesn't load any images after I insert the MTL.txt it shows this error:

enter image description here

From this I understand that I am supposed to use this plugin with Level 1 product or am I driving insane? I have the same images from Level 1 and the plugin works with them. So first, is there any other way to remove clouds from the surface reflectance product using my collection? I tried some codes I found here and using Google Earth Engine but I am not very familiar with that and I am in a rush (deadline soon) so I don't have very much time to spent in GEE. And I would possibly love to find another way. And second is it maybe possible to Cloud mask the level 1 images and then apply that mask to the surface reflectance product?

1 Answer 1


I think you could use the QA (Quality Assessment) band that comes with Landsat collection 2 level 2 data (if you've downloaded the bulk data set) to identify the problematic pixels and mask cloud cover. More info about the band is provided on USGS's website.

  • Thank you shortly after my post I finally found the pixel values of QA band that I didn't understand at first when I saw the Handbook..
    – Stella
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 19:45

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