Monthly surface water extent dataset for Tibetan Plateau and central Asia (2000-2015)

The distribution of lakes in space and its change over time are closely related to agricultural, environmental and ecological issues, and are critical factors for human socio-economic development. In the past decades, satellite based remote sensing has been developed rapidly to provide essential data sources for monitoring temporal lakes dynamics with its advantage of rapidness, wide coverage, and lower cost. This dataset was produced from Landsat images using the automated water detection method (Feng et al, 2015). We collected 96,278 Landsat images (about 25 terabytes) that acquired since 2000 with less than 80% cloud contamination in the arid region of central Asia and Tibetan Plateau. Water is detected in each of the image and then aggregated to monthly temporal resolution by taking advantage of the high-performance processing capability and large data storage provided by Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) at University of Maryland. The results are validated systematically and quantitatively using manually interpreted dataset, which consists of a set of locations collected by a stratified random sampling strategy to effectively represent different spatial-temporal distributions in the region. The validation suggests high accuracy of the results (overall accuracy: 99.45(±0.59); user accuracy: 85.37%±(3.74); produce accuracy: 98.17(±1.05)).

Data file naming and use method

每个tile的大小为90km x 90km, 水平(纬向)和水平(经向)方向的tile编号分别为horizontal和vertical tile ID。

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Cite as:

FENG Min, CHE Xianghong. Monthly surface water extent dataset for Tibetan Plateau and central Asia (2000-2015). National Tibetan Plateau Data Center, 2019. doi: 10.11888/Hydro.tpdc.270301. (Download the reference: RIS | Bibtex )

Related Literatures:

1. Feng, M., Sexton, J. O., Channan, S., & Townshend, J. R. (2015). A global, high-resolution (30-m) inland water body dataset for 2000: first results of a topographic–spectral classification algorithm. International Journal of Digital Earth, 9(2), 113–133. View Details | Bibtex)

Using this data, the data citation is required to be referenced and the related literatures are suggested to be cited.

Support Program

Pan-Third Pole Environment Study for a Green Silk Road-A CAS Strategic Priority A Program (No:XDA20000000)

User Limit

To respect the intellectual property rights, protect the rights of data authors,expand servglacials of the data center, and evaluate the application potential of data, data users should clearly indicate the source of the data and the author of the data in the research results generated by using the data (including published papers, articles, data products, and unpublished research reports, data products and other results). For re-posting (second or multiple releases) data, the author must also indicate the source of the original data.

Example of acknowledgement statement is included below: The data set is provided by National Tibetan Plateau Data Center (

License: This work is licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Geographic coverage
East: 104.73 West: 51.07
South: 26.19 North: 57.67
  • Temporal resolution: Monthly
  • Spatial resolution: m
  • File size: 15,200 MB
  • Browse count: 1,382 Times
  • Apply count: 48 Times
  • Share mode: online
  • Temporal coverage: 2000-01-01 To 2015-12-31
  • Updated time: 2019-08-09
Contact Information
: FENG Min   CHE Xianghong  

Distributor: National Tibetan Plateau Data Center


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