The two-dimensional (2D) temperature profile of a high-power junction-down broad-area diode laser facet subject to back-irradiance (BI) is studied via CCD-based thermoreflectance (TR) imaging and finite element modeling. The temperature rise in the active region (ΔΤAR) is determined at different diode laser optical powers, back-irradiance reflectance levels, and back-irradiance spot locations. Interestingly, our study shows that ΔΤAR rises sharpest not when the back-irradiance is boresight-aligned with the active region but rather when it is centered in the absorbing substrate approximately 5 μm away from the active region, a distance roughly equal to half of the back-irradiance spot FWHM (9 μm). At this critical location, ΔΤAR is found to increase by nearly a factor of three compared to its increase without back-irradiance. This provides insight on an important location for back-irradiance that may be correlated with catastrophic optical damage (COD) for diode lasers fabricated on absorbing substrates, and also suggests a thermal basis for truncated lifetime and deegraded performance for diode lasers experiencing backirradiance.