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Global - Surface Water 1984 to 2020 - European Commission

The Global surface water dataset contains maps of the location and temporal distribution of surface water from 1984 to 2020 and provides statistics on the extent and change of those water surfaces over this period.

For more information, see the associated journal article, “High-Resolution Mapping of Global Surface Water and Its Long-Term Changes (Nature, 2016) and the online Data Users Guide. These data were generated using 3,066,102 scenes from Landsat 5, 7, and 8 acquired between March 16, 1984, and October 10, 2015. Each pixel was individually classified into water/nonwater using an expert system, and the results were collated into a monthly history for the entire time period and 2 epochs (1984-1999 and 2000-2015) for change detection. The Yearly Seasonality Classification collection contains a year-by-year classification of the seasonality of water based on the occurrence values detected throughout the year.

This dataset includes :

  • Occurrence

  • Change

  • Seasonality

  • Recurrence

  • Transitions

  • Extent


Jean-Francois Pekel, Andrew Cottam, Noel Gorelick, Alan S. Belward, High-resolution mapping of global surface water and its long-term changes. Nature 540, 418-422 (2016). (doi:10.1038/nature20584)

Data and Resources

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Additional Info

Field Value
Author Joint Research Centre
Last Updated September 3, 2021, 09:31 (Etc/UTC)
Created April 12, 2018, 09:30 (Etc/UTC)
Origin Places Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania
Price, £ -

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