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Tasseled Cap Transformation for Landsat 8

by on ‎11-12-2015 01:22 PM - edited on ‎02-24-2020 05:02 AM by Community Manager (7,343 Views)

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The Tasseled Cap Transformation is a technique commonly used in land cover mapping or other classification projects. It takes the linear combination of satellite imagery bands and a specialized coefficient matrix to create a n-band image with the first 3 bands containing the majority of the useful information, similar to Principal Component Analysis. The first three bands created are generally held to represent Brightness, Greenness and Wetness. The coefficient matrix, which is unique to each imaging sensor, is based on image statistics and empirical observations. The matrix[1] used in this model for the Landsat 8 OLI sensor is as follows (note that the first band of Landsat 8 OLI imagery, coastal aerosol, is effectively dropped): 


  LS 8 Band 1 LS 8 Band 2 LS 8 Band 3 LS 8 Band 4 LS 8 Band 5 LS 8 Band 6 LS 8 Band 7
Brightness 0.0000 0.3029 0.2786 0.4733 0.5599 0.5080 0.1872
Greenness 0.0000 -0.2941 -0.2430 -0.5424 0.7276 0.0713 -0.1608
Wetness 0.0000 0.1511 0.1973 0.3283 0.3407 -0.7117 -0.4559
TCT4 0.0000 -0.8239 0.0849 0.4396 -0.0580 0.2013 -0.2773
TCT5 0.0000 -0.3294 0.0557 0.1056 0.1855 -0.4349 0.8085
TCT6 0.0000 0.1079 -0.9023 0.4119 0.0575 -0.0259 0.0252


Other Landsat sensors can be transformed to Tasseled Cap from the Raster tab / Resolution group / Spectral pulldown.


Assumptions: The Landsat 8 OLI imagery should have been previously corrected to at-satellite reflectance values. This greatly increases the accuracy of the tasseled-cap transform. Information on this procedure can be found here: http://landsat.usgs.gov/Landsat8_Using_Product.php 


Below you can see how the resulting first 3 bands compare individually to the original image, which is displayed RGB to 4/3/2. 

First Band of TCT, Brightness, compared to the original image on right:
Second Band of TCT, Greenness, compared to the original image on right::
Third Band of TCT, Wetness, compared to the original image on right::






  1. Coefficient matrix derived from:

Muhammad Hasan Ali Baig, Lifu Zhang, Tong Shuai & Qingxi Tong (2014) 

Derivation of a tasselled cap transformation based on Landsat 8 at-satellite reflectance,
Remote Sensing Letters, 5:5, 423-431, DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2014.915434


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