Pan-Arctic Visualization of Landscape Change (2003-2022), Arctic PASSION Permafrost Service

Nitze, Ingmar; Lübker, Tillmann; Grosse, Guido

This raster dataset, in Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF format (COG), provides information on land surface changes at the pan-arctic scale. Multispectral Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM+, and Landsat-8 OLI imagery (cloud-cover less than 80%, months July and August) was used for detecting disturbance trends (associated with abrupt permafrost degradation) between 2003 and 2022. For each satellite image we calculated the Tasseled Cap multi-spectral index to translate the spectral reflectance signal to the semantic information Brightness, Greenness, and Wetness. In order to characterize change information, we calculated the linear trend of the Brightness, Greenness and Wetness over two decades on the individual pixel level. The final map product therefore contains information on the direction and magnitude of change for all three Tasseled Cap parameters in 30m spatial resolution across the pan-arctic permafrost domain. Features detected include coastal erosion, lake drainage, infrastructure expansion, and fires. The general processing methodology was developed by Fraser et al. 2014 and adapted and expanded by Nitze et al. 2016 and Nitze et al. 2018. Here we upscaled the processing to the circum-arctic permafrost region and the recent 20-year period from 2003 through 2022. The service covers the permafrost region up to 81° North: Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, and China. For Russia and China, regions not containing permafrost were excluded. The data has been processed in Google EarthEngine within the research projects ERC PETA-CARB, ESA CCI+ Permafrost, NSF Permafrost Discovery Gateway, and EU Arctic PASSION. The dataset is a contribution to the "Panarctic requirements-driven Permafrost Service" of the Arctic PASSION project (see references). Changes in the Tasseled Cap indices Brightness, Greenness, and Wetness are displayed in the image bands red, green, and blue, respectively. Here, coastal erosion (a trend of a land surface transitioning to a water surface) is depicted in dark blue colors, while coastal accretion (a trend of a water surface transitioning to a land surface) is depicted in bright orange colors. Drained lakes appear in bright yellow or orange colors, depending on the soil conditions and vegetation regrowth. Fire scars are a further common feature, which can appear in different colors, depending on the time of the fire and pre-fire land cover. The data can be explored via the Arctic Landscape EXplorer (ALEX, see references) and is available as a public web map service (WMS, see references), both hosted by Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.


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Nitze, Ingmar

Metadata Access

DCAT in RDF/XML-Format

DCAT in Turtle-Format

DCAT in JSON-LD-Format

APGC Dataset Metadata in JSON-Format

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier DOI:10.1594/PANGAEA.964814
Project(s) Pan-Arctic observing System of Systems: Implementing Observations for societal Needs (Arctic PASSION), CCI Permafrost (ESA_CCI_Permafrost_CCN2), ESA GlobPermafrost (GlobPermafrost), NSF Permafrost Discovery Gateway (Permafrost_Discovery_Gateway), Rapid Permafrost Thaw in a Warming Arctic and Impacts on the Soil Organic Carbon Pool (PETA-CARB)
Institute AWI Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Publication Date 2024-01-19
Version 1.0
Product Pan-Arctic Visualization of Landscape Change as Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF
Sensor Landsat
  1. TCVIS-2003-2022 Mosaic East Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG)
  2. TCVIS-2003-2022 Mosaic West Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG)
  3. AWI Permafrost Web Map Service (WMS)
Variables [Units]
  1. Trend of Tasseled Cap Brightness (TCBR): -1 to 1
  2. Trend of Tasseled Cap Greenness (TCGR): -1 to 1
  3. Trend of Tasseled Cap Wetness (TCWE): -1 to 1
Region Circum-Arctic
Spatial Reference EPSG:3857 WGS 84 / Pseudo-Mercator
Spatial Resolution 30 m
Spatial Coverage Latitude 27 to 81, Longitude -180 to 180
Temporal Coverage 2003-2022
Temporal Resolution
Format Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF (COG)
Is Supplement To
Related to

Fraser, Robert; Olthof, Ian; Kokelj, Steven V; Lantz, Trevor C; Lacelle, Denis; Brooker, Alexander; Wolfe, Stephen A; Schwarz, Steve (2014): Detecting Landscape Changes in High Latitude Environments Using Landsat Trend Analysis: 1. Visualization. Remote Sensing, 6(11), 11533-11557,

Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido (2016): Detection of landscape dynamics in the Arctic Lena Delta with temporally dense Landsat time-series stacks. Remote Sensing of Environment, 181, 27-41,

Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Boike, Julia (2018): Remote sensing quantifies widespread abundance of permafrost region disturbances across the Arctic and Subarctic. Nature Communications, 9(1),

Dataset extent

Map tiles and data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.