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This data set is a subset of the IGBP DISCover data set, which was derived from the Global Land Cover Characteristics database. The subset was created for the study area of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) in South America (i.e., latitude 10° N to 25° S, longitude 30° to 85° W). The data are at 1-km resolution in ASCII GRID format.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) generated a 1-km resolution global database of land cover characteristics for use in a wide range of environmental research and modeling applications. The Global Land Cover Characteristics database was developed on a continent-by-continent basis. All continental databases share the same map projections (Interrupted Goode Homolosine and Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area), have 1-km nominal spatial resolution, and are based on 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data spanning April 1992 through March 1993. Each database contains unique elements based on the geographic aspects of the specific continent. In addition, a core set of derived thematic maps produced through the aggregation of seasonal land cover regions are included in each continental database.

The continental databases were combined to make six global data sets, each representing a different landscape based on a particular classification legend. The following derived data sets were included in the global land cover database:

The legends for each of the derived data sets can be found in the documentation accompanying the data. For a description of the methodology for the global database, see the global readme file found under the EROS Data Center DAAC home page (

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, established accuracy statistics for one land cover layer from the Global Land Cover Characteristics database. These statistics comprise the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) DISCover data set.

Further information can be found at

LBA was a cooperative international research initiative led by Brazil. NASA w as a lead sponsor for several experiments. LBA was designed to create the new kn owledge needed to understand the climatological, ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrological functioning of Amazonia; the impact of land use change on these fu nctions; and the interactions between Amazonia and the Earth system. More inform ation about LBA can be found at

Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Brown, J., T. Loveland, D. Ohlen, and Z. Zhu. 2003. LBA Regional Land Cover from AVHRR, 1-km, Version 1.2 (IGBP). Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/679.


Anderson, J. R., E. E. Hardy, J. T. Roach, and R. E. Witmer. 1976. A land use and land cover classification system for use with remote sensor data. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 964. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Available on-line [].

Belward, A. S., ed. 1996. The IGBP-DIS global 1 km land cover data set (DISCover)- Proposal and implementation plans. IGBP-DIS Working Paper No. 13. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Data and Information Services, Toulouse, France.

Dickinson, R. E., A. Henderson-Sellers, P. J. Kennedy, and M. F. Wilson. 1986. Biosphere-atmosphere transfer scheme (BATS) for the NCAR community climate model. NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN275+STR. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

Olson, J. S. 1994a. Global ecosystem framework-definitions. USGS EROS Data Center Internal Report. EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.A.

Olson, J. S. 1994b. Global ecosystem framework-translation strategy. USGS EROS Data Center Internal Report. EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.A.

Reed, B.C., T. R. Loveland, Z. Zhu, D. O. Ohlen, J. F. Brown, J. W. Merchant, and L. Yang. 1997. The Global Land-Cover Characteristics Database (Version 1.2). Available on-line [] from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center, EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Sellers, P. J., Y. Mintz, Y. C. Sud, and A. Dalcher. 1986. A simple biosphere model (SiB) for use within general circulation models. Journal of Atmospheric Science 43:505-531.

Sellers, P. J., D. A. Randall, G. J. Collatz, J. A. Berry, C. B. Field, D. A. Dazlich, C. Zhang, G. D. Collelo, and L. Bounoua. 1996. A revised land surface parameterization (SiB2) for atmospheric GCMs. Part I: Model formulation. Journal of Climate 9:676-705.

Data Format:

The data file is in ASCII GRID format for ArcInfo. The file contains a single ASCII array with integer values. Complete format information can be found in

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