A Cloud Removal Algorithm to Generate Cloud and Cloud Shadow Free Images Using Information Cloning

Kalkan K., Maktav M. D.

JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY OF REMOTE SENSING, vol.46, no.8, pp.1255-1264, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12524-018-0806-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1255-1264
  • Keywords: Landsat 8, Cloud, Cloud shadow, Cloud determination, Cloning, Information reconstruction, Flood Fill
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


One of the main problems of optical remote sensing is clouds and cloud shadows caused by specific atmospheric conditions during data acquisition. These features limit the usage of acquired images and increase the difficulty in data analysis, such as normalized difference vegetation index values, misclassification, and atmospheric correction. Accurate detection and reliable cloning of cloud and cloud shadow features in satellite images are very useful processes for optical remote sensing applications. In this study, an automated cloud removal algorithm to generate cloud and cloud shadow free images from multitemporal Landsat-8 images is introduced. Cloud and cloud shadow areas are classified by using process-based rule set developed by using spectral and spatial features after applying simple linear iterative clustering superpixel segmentation algorithm to the image to find cloud pixel groups easily and correctly. Segmentation-based cloud detection method gives better results than pixel-based for detection of cloud and cloud shadow patches. After detection of clouds and cloud shadows, cloud-free images are created by cloning cloudless regions from multitemporal dataset. Spectral and structural consistency are preserved by considering spectral features and seasonal effects while cloning process. Statistical similarity tests are applied to find best cloud-free image to use for cloning process. Cloning results are tested with the structural similarity index metric to evaluate the performance of cloning algorithm.