At the end of last year, the Theia land data centre put online the monthly cloud free syntheses of surface reflectances from Sentinel-2, for France, from July 2017 to June 2018. The distribution site of Theia products at CNES now provides more than two and a half years of L3A products France. The most recent synthesis produced is that of January 2020.

Summer 2017 was a rather wet and cloudy period, with some pixels still cloudy after 45 days. There is a deep contrast between the healthy vegetation observable in 2017, and the brown hue observable for 2018 and 2019 very dry summers. This is also all the more observable in the zoom over the center of France, provided below.


July 2017 July 2018 July 2019


The full resolution data, and the corresponding data quality masks, can be downloaded from Theia's distribution server at CNES.

If you are not afraid to spend too much time while you have urgent things to do, you may also use the nice viewer below (merci Michel Lepage !) to compare with the previous months :

See it full screen

Here is how to cite this data set :
made from Sentinel-2 images from the Copernicus program of the European Union
Processed by CNES for Theia data Center, based on methods developped at CESBIO


En 2019, Pyrénées névés near vignemale mountain have almost disappeared.


Methodology, caveats and artefacts

The monthly syntheses are produced using the WASP processor, which is described here.. In a few words, it computes a weighted average of the cloud free surface reflectances from L2A products processed with MAJA. It is therefore very sensitive to the quality of cloud detection (which is good, thankfully).

By comparing the various syntheses, you will see the evolution of the landscape, generally a little greener in October, but this representation will also help you spot the composite artefacts. These are not very numerous, but you will see them :

  • on some web browsers (firefox V58), geometrical differences appear even at a low resolution. Other browsers and versions do not have this defect. It is really not due to Sentinel-2 or Theia products
  • above water and snow (we must work on this defect)
  • where clouds have covered a place during the whole synthesis period. These pixels are flagged as invalid in the products (but not on the mosaic), and for the mosaics, we provide the minimum of blue value.
  • where clouds or shadows were not properly detected by MAJA
  • at the edges of Sentinel-2 swath (but the effect is really faint)
  • some tile edges in July, due to the fact that Level 3A products were not all generated for the 15th of July, but for dates between the 8th and the 26th. This has been corrected for August and September.

Direct acces to monthly mosaics

Each monthly synthesis is accessible using the following links :


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