How to Calculate NDVI Using Landsat 8 Images and QGIS

The NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) is a versatile vegetation index to evaluate the vegetation and dynamic of the vegetation coverage change. This index has been studied and evaluated with many satellites over the years, changing its calculus method in relation to the number and type of bands of the satellite. The following tutorial shows the NDVI calculus for Landsat 8 images using QGIS.

How is NDVI calculated?

The generic NDVI calculation is the following:



VIS = Visible Red

NIR = Near Infrared

More information about NDVI here.

Landsat 8 satellite bands differ from Landsat 7 as it is shown here:


Landsat 8 images for this exercise were downloaded from Echo Reverb server (

How to calculate NDVI is shown here:

Saul Montoya

Saul Montoya es Ingeniero Civil graduado de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú en Lima con estudios de postgrado en Manejo e Ingeniería de Recursos Hídricos (Programa WAREM) de la Universidad de Stuttgart con mención en Ingeniería de Aguas Subterráneas y Hidroinformática.

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