‘LandsatTS': an R package to facilitate retrieval, cleaning, cross-calibration, and phenological modeling of Landsat time series data

Logan T. Berner, Jakob J. Assmann, Signe Normand, Scott J. Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Landsat satellites provide decades of near-global surface reflectance measurements that are increasingly used to assess interannual changes in terrestrial ecosystem function. These assessments often rely on spectral indices related to vegetation greenness and productivity (e.g. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI). Nevertheless, multiple factors impede multi-decadal assessments of spectral indices using Landsat satellite data, including ease of data access and cleaning, as well as lingering issues with cross-sensor calibration and challenges with irregular timing of cloud-free acquisitions. To help address these problems, we developed the ‘LandsatTS' package for R. This software package facilitates sample-based time series analysis of surface reflectance and spectral indices derived from Landsat sensors. The package includes functions that enable the extraction of the full Landsat 5, 7, and 8 records from Collection 2 for point sample locations or small study regions using Google Earth Engine accessed directly from R. Moreover, the package includes functions for 1) rigorous data cleaning, 2) cross-sensor calibration, 3) phenological modeling, and 4) time series analysis. For an example application, we show how ‘LandsatTS' can be used to assess changes in annual maximum vegetation greenness from 2000 to 2022 across the Noatak National Preserve in northern Alaska, USA. Overall, this software provides a suite of functions to enable broader use of Landsat satellite data for assessing and monitoring terrestrial ecosystem function during recent decades across local to global geographic extents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere06768
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Google Earth Engine
  • Landsat
  • NDVI
  • cross-sensor calibration
  • greening and browning
  • spectral index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of '‘LandsatTS': an R package to facilitate retrieval, cleaning, cross-calibration, and phenological modeling of Landsat time series data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this