Global Land Cover Characteristics

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Global Land Cover Roughness Data in WindPRO

Initially, the Global Land Cover Classification (GLCC) dataset was developed for land cover characterization in a range of environmental research and modelling applications. It is derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data spanning a 12 month period from April 1992 to March 1993. The AVHHR is a space-borne sensor mounted on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) family of polar orbiting platforms.


This dataset has a global coverage. It is based on a 1 km x 1 km grid, so note that such a resolution is too coarse for micro-scale AEP calculation models! These data are the version 2.0 of the global land cover characteristics data base, see USGS web site for further details.


Various legends exist for this dataset. At EMD, we use the legend from the US Geological Survey, see the table below. In addition to the legend, we (EMD) also suggested a roughness length, z0. This length is shown in the last column of the table.

Table: USGS Legend for the GLCC Data with Roughness Classification Data by EMD
ID Land Cover Type EMD Roughness Class
1 Urban and Built-Up Land z0=0.400
2 Dryland Cropland and Pasture z0=0.100
3 Irrigated Cropland and Pasture z0=0.100
4 Mixed Dryland/Irrigated Cropland and Pasture z0=0.100
5 Cropland/Grassland Mosaic z0=0.070
6 Cropland/Woodland Mosaic z0=0.150
7 Grassland z0=0.050
8 Shrubland z0=0.070
9 Mixed Shrubland/Grassland z0=0.060
10 Savanna z0=0.070
11 Deciduous Broadleaf Forest z0=0.400
12 Deciduous Needleleaf Forest z0=0.400
13 Evergreen Broadleaf Forest z0=0.500
14 Evergreen Needleleaf Forest z0=0.500
15 Mixed Forest z0=0.400
16 Water Bodies z0=0.0002
17 Herbaceous Wetland z0=0.030
18 Wooded Wetland z0=0.100
19 Barren or Sparsely Vegetated z0=0.020
20 Herbaceous Tundra z0=0.050
21 Wooded Tundra z0=0.150
22 Mixed Tundra z0=0.100
23 Bare Ground Tundra z0=0.030
24 Snow or Ice z0=0.001

License and Acknowledgement

This dataset is in the US Public Domain. USGS only asks that proper credit is given while using this dataset. A suggested format is to write:

Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

External Link

Global Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0, available at: (2013).