Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Sean P. HealeyWarren B. Cohen; Yang Zhiqiang; Olga N. Krankina
    Date: 2005
    Source: Remote Sensing of Environment: 301-310
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (1.03 MB)


    Landsat satellite data has become ubiquitous in regional-scale forest disturbance detection. The Tasseled Cap (TC) transformation for Landsat data has been used in several disturbance-mapping projects because of its ability to highlight relevant vegetation changes. We used an automated composite analysis procedure to test four multi-date variants of the TC transformation (called "data structures" here) in their ability to facilitate identification of stand-replacing disturbance. Data structures tested included one with a11 three TC indices (brightness, greenness, wetness), one with just brightness and greenness, one with just wetness, and one called the Disturbance Index (DI) which is a novel combination of the three TC indices. Data structures were tested in the St. Petersburg region of Russia and in two ecologically distinct regions of Washington State in the US. In almost all cases, the TC variants produced more accurate change classifications than multi-date stacks of the original Landsat reflectance data. In general, there was little overall difference between the TC-derived data structures. However, DI performed better than the others at the Russian study area, where slower succession rates likely produce the most durable disturbance signal. Also, at the highly productive western Washington site, where the disturbance signal is likely the most ephemeral, DI and wetness performed worse than the larger data structures when a longer monitoring interval was used (eight years between image acquisitions instead of four). This suggests that both local forest recovery rates and the re-sampling interval should be considered in choosing a Landsat transformation for use in stand-replacing disturbance detection.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Healey, Sean P.; Cohen, Warren B.; Zhiqiang, Yang; Krankina, Olga N. 2005. Comparison of Tasseled Cap-based Landsat data structures for use in forest disturbance detection. Remote Sensing of Environment: 301-310


    disturbance, Landsat, change detection, tasseled cap, disturbance index

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page