I'm working with both Collection 1 and 2 data to explore Surface Temperature.

Collection 2 data has a new product that enumerates the uncertainty in calculated surface temperature.

The data seems strange, though, exhibiting unexpected clustering of high values without any obvious cause from underlying data (such as emissivity, surface reflectance etc.). I've attached a couple of screenshots to demonstrate the effect - large/small scale.

I can't find anything in the documentation to explain this.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • I've looked through associated data layers for corresponding patterns and cannot find any that correspond to these spots. Jan 6, 2023 at 16:47
  • I've been in touch with the USGS about this - though they've gone quiet the last 2 weeks. They could not initially explain this effect and hadn't seen it before. Jan 22, 2023 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


Straight from the USGS itself, the answer from the 'Landsat Technical Science Lead' is "Clustering of high values in ST uncertainty is due to low distance to the clouds. Closer to clouds means higher uncertainty in single channel atmospheric compensation. The distance to cloud (CDIST.TIF) layer in C2 ST package includes the input distance to cloud information used in the uncertainty propagation model."

This is pretty non-obvious as the CDIST layer doesn't contain data that suggests this output (for the images in question). That, however, is what is going on.

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