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TERN's Landscapes platform conducts environmental monitoring using remote sensing techniques to characterise and monitor Australian ecosystems at a landscape and continental scale. The platform also undertakes modelling and synthesis activities to extrapolate and interpolate from observational data to produce modelled data products.

Landscapes is delivered primarily by the TERN facility formerly known as TERN AusCover and its remotely-sensed data streams from technologies which include satellite and airborne platforms such as aircraft and drones (UAV).  Such data streams are used to characterise and detect change relating to vegetation structure and composition, land cover underlying forces, and bushfire dynamics and impacts.

The platform also includes data and mapping products from TERN's Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia, which provides easy access to nationally-consistent and comprehensive soil and landscape attribute data at a finer resolution than ever before in Australia.



Data and Tools

As well as delivering valuable remote sensing data products for use in science and management, TERN Landscapes' suite of infrastructure includes tools that assist researchers to undertake their work more effectively. The capability delivers:

  • Nationally-consistent, standard biophysical data products;
  • Specialised satellite, airborne, and on-ground research-grade data;
  • Metadata and technical support documents;
  • Physical storage and efficient delivery to end-users;
  • Solved data formats, interoperability and data management/policy;
  • Set national standards and field validation protocols, including the Australian first ‘Effective Field Calibration and Validation Practices’ handbook that gives details on how to correct and check remotely sensed data products to ensure they can be used for science and management applications; and
  • International benchmarking e.g. Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Working Group for Calibration and Validation of Land Products.

TERN Landscapes' remotely-sensed data products address the following key themes:

  • Land cover dynamics and Phenology
  • Vegetation composition and diversity
  • Fire dynamics and impacts
  • Vegetation structural properties and Biomass
  • Field survey datasets
  • Airborne datasets
  • Corrected surface reflectance products
  • Other environmental data such as solar radiation, rainfall, and water vapour pressure

The Soil and Landscape Grid provides data on soil and landscape attributes at 90m pixels, and are available for six soil depths down to a maximum of 2 metres. Attributes available are:

Soil attributes   Landscape attributes
  • Bulk Density
  • Organic Carbon
  • Clay
  • Silt
  • Sand
  • pH (water)
  • pH (CaCl2)
  • Available Water Capacity
  • Total Nitrogen
  • Total Phosphorus
  • Effective Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Depth of Regolith
  • Depth of Soil
  • Coarse Fragments
  • Slope (%)
  • Slope (%) Median 200m Radius
  • Slope Relief Classification
  • Aspect
  • Relief 1000m Radius
  • Relief 300m Raddius
  • Topographic Wetness Index
  • Topographic Position Index
  • Partial Contributing Area
  • Multi-resolution Valley Bottom Flatness (MrVBF)
  • Plan Curvature
  • Profile Curvature
  • Prescott Index
  • Solar Radiation (SRAD) Net Radiation January
  • SRAD Net Radiation July
  • SRAD Total Shortwave Sloping Surface January
  • SRAD Total Shortwave Sloping Surface July


TERN Landscapes remotely-sensed infrastructure and data >

TERN Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia >

Find Out More

To find out more about our Landscapes infrastructure and services for the ecosystem science community, you can

Visit the interim TERN Landscapes website >

Explore the TERN Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia >



TERN Landscapes main office

CSIRO Land and Water
CSIRO Black Mountain Laboratories
Clunies Ross St
Canberra ACT 2600

T +61 (0)2 6246 5718

W auscover.org.au/contact-us/


TERN Landscapes Program Leader

Alex Held
Mike Grundy

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