Products

DEA prepares and analyses vast volumes of Earth observation data from satellites orbiting our planet to produce a range of information products for the Australian government and businesses. Among other uses, these products provide valuable information for monitoring the environment and increasing productivity in the agriculture and mining industries.

Intertidal Extents Model

Due to the complexity of this image no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternate description.

Roebuck Bay in Western Australia. A Ramsar Wetland site and globally significant habitat for migratory shorebirds. ITEM products illustrating the topography of the exposed intertidal mudflats in this remote and complex environment.

The Intertidal Extents Model (ITEM) product utilises 30 years of Earth observation data from the Landsat archive to map the extents and topography of Australia's intertidal mudflats, beaches and reefs1; the area exposed between high and low tide.

These regions are notoriously difficult to survey and characterise, and the ITEM products provide valuable information on the structure of these environments that can contribute to coastal management, habitat mapping and modelling applications.

Further information

  • View and download the data via NationalMap. Select Add data, and then the Surface Water and Marine/Tidal theme.

High and Low Tide Composites

Due to the complexity of this image no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternate description.

The HTLC low tide composite mosaic showing Talbot Bay and Montgomery Reef, WA at low tide.

The High and Low Tide Composites (HLTC) are imagery mosaics developed to visualise Australia's coasts, estuaries and reefs at low and high tide, whilst removing the influence of noise features such as clouds, breaking water and sun-glint2. These products are highly interpretable, and provide a valuable snapshot of the coastline at different biophysical states.

The HLTC products and process are important tools for analysing and mapping this dynamic environment, and for improving our understanding of the full scale of the Australian coastline.

Further information

  • View and download the data via NationalMap. Select Add data, and then the Surface Water and Marine/Tidal theme.

Landsat Surface Reflectance

Due to the complexity of this image no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternate description.

Coopers Creek

The United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Landsat satellite program has been capturing images of the Australian continent for more than thirty years. DEA takes the hundreds of thousands of images, prepares them for Australian conditions, and makes adjustments to correct inconsistencies caused by changes in the atmosphere each time an image is captured (i.e. absence or presence of cloud cover), so that the data can be analysed to provide information about our changing continent.

This corrected data set is known as Landsat Surface Reflectance, and it forms the basis for many of the other information products produced by DEA. Products derived from the surface reflectance collection include Fractional Cover, Water Observations from Space, the Intertidal Extents Model, and High and Low Tide Composites.

Further information

Fractional Cover

Due to the complexity of this image no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternate description.

The method used to separate out these parts of the landscape was developed by the Joint Remote Sensing Research Program, a collaboration between state agencies to develop the use of remote sensing in environmental management.

Fractional Cover (FC) is a measurement that splits the landscape into three parts, or fractions; green (leaves, grass, and growing crops), brown (branches, dry grass or hay, and dead leaf litter), and bare ground (soil or rock). DEA uses Fractional Cover to characterise every 25 m square of Australia for any point in time from 1987 to today. This measurement can inform a broad range of natural resource management issues2.

Fractional Cover can provide insights into areas of dry vegetation and bare soil, as well as allowing the mapping of living vegetation extent. For example, by monitoring the proportion of living vegetation and bare ground through time, land managers can determine which parts of their property show heavier grazing or are under-utilised and ensure all of their feed is used. Placing additional water points in the un-grazed areas may help to move livestock into those areas.

Water Observations from Space

Due to the complexity of this image no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternate description.

The image shows the percentage of time since 1987 that water was observed by the Landsat satellites on the floodplain around Burketown and Normanton in northern Queensland. The water frequency is shown in a colour scale from red to blue, with areas of persistent water observations shown in blue colouring, and areas of very infrequent water observation shown in red colouring. The image is part of the Water Observations from Space product, available for all of Australia.

Water Observations from Space (WOfS) is the world's first continent-scale map of surface water3 and provides images and data showing where water has been seen in Australia from 1987 to the present.

This map can be used to better understand where water usually occurs across the continent and to plan water management strategies. WOfS is widely used in Australia for flood modelling and assessment of environmental water flows, and has been used overseas in Columbia, Kenya, Switzerland, and Cameroon to monitor water availability and desertification rates. WOfS can also be used to assist in making decisions regarding the sustainable use of water and historical risk modelling to plan for future floods, hazards and other natural disasters.

Further information

Dynamic Land Cover Dataset

Map of Australia showing land cover

The National Dynamic Land Cover Dataset

The Dynamic Land Cover Dataset (DLCD) is the first nationally consistent and thematically comprehensive land cover reference for Australia. The DLCD provides a basis for reporting on change and trends in vegetation cover and extent across the continent.

Further information


1 Sagar, S., Roberts, D., Bala, B., Lymburner, L., 2017. Extracting the intertidal extent and topography of the Australian coastline from a 28 year time series of Landsat observations. Remote Sensing of Environment 195, 153-169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.04.009

2 Sagar, S., Phillips, C., Bala, B., Roberts, D., Lymburner, L., 2018. Generating Continental Scale Pixel-Based Surface Reflectance Composites in Coastal Regions with the Use of a Multi-Resolution Tidal Model. Remote Sensing 10, 480. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030480

3 N. Mueller, A. Lewis, D. Roberts, S. Ring, R. Melrose, J. Sixsmith, L. Lymburner, A. McIntyre, P. Tan, S. Curnow, A. Ip, 2016. Water observations from space: Mapping surface water from 25 years of Landsat imagery across Australia. Remote Sensing of Environment 174, 341-352, ISSN 0034-4257.