Skip to main content
Home > Documentation

Documentation

The goal of the MODIS Land Product Subsets project is to provide summaries of selected MODIS Land Products for the community to use for validation of models and remote-sensing products and to characterize field sites.

You may download MODIS Sinusoidal Grid (KMZ) or get more information about the formats and subsets offered by clicking the tabs below.

MODIS Land Subset Products Offered

Detailed information about file naming conventions, QC information, and file formats is provided in the product links. The Land Processes DAAC provides information on all MODIS Land products .

Product Acronym Name Collection Frequency (Days) Resolution (Meter)
MCD12Q1 LC MODIS/Terra+Aqua Land Cover Type Yearly L3 5 annual 500
MCD12Q2 LCD MODIS/Terra+Aqua Land Cover Dynamics Yearly L3 5 annual 500
MCD15A2H LAI/FPAR MODIS/Terra+Aqua Leaf Area Index/FPAR 8-Day L4 6 8 500
MCD15A3H LAI/FPAR MODIS/Terra+Aqua Leaf Area Index/FPAR 4-Day L4 6 4 500
MCD43A1 BRDF MODIS/Terra+Aqua BRDF/Albedo 16-Day L3 5 16 500
MCD43A2 BRDF/QA MODIS/Terra+Aqua BRDF/Model Quality 16-Day L3 5 16 500
MCD43A4 NBAR MODIS/Terra+Aqua Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance 16-Day L3 5 16 500
MOD09A1 SREF MODIS/Terra Surface Reflectance 8-Day L3 5 & 6 8 500
MOD11A2 TEMP MODIS/Terra Land Surface Temperature/Emissivity 8-Day L3 5 & 6 8 1000
MOD13Q1 NDVI/EVI MODIS/Terra Vegetation Indices 16-Day L3 5 & 6 16 250
MOD15A2 LAI/FPAR MODIS/Terra Leaf Area Index/FPAR 8-Day L4 5 8 1000
MOD15A2H LAI/FPAR MODIS/Terra Leaf Area Index/FPAR 8-Day L4 6 8 500
MOD16A2 ET MODIS/Terra Evapotranspiration 8-Day L4 5 8 1000
MOD17A2 GPP MODIS/Terra Gross Primary Production 8-Day L4 5 8 1000
MOD17A2H GPP MODIS/Terra Gross Primary Production 8-Day L4 6 8 500
MOD17A3 NPP MODIS/Terra Net Primary Production Yearly L4 5 annual 1000
MOD17A3H NPP MODIS/Terra Net Primary Production Yearly L4 6 annual 500
MYD09A1 SREF MODIS/Aqua Surface Reflectance 8-Day L3 5 & 6 8 500
MYD11A2 TEMP MODIS/Aqua Land Surface Temperature/Emissivity 8-Day L3 5 & 6 8 1000
MYD13Q1 NDVI/EVI MODIS/Aqua Vegetation Indices 16-Day L3 5 & 6 16 250
MYD15A2 LAI/FPAR MODIS/Aqua Leaf Area Index/FPAR 8-Day L4 5 8 1000
MYD15A2H LAI/FPAR MODIS/Aqua Leaf Area Index/FPAR 8-Day L4 6 8 500
MYD17A2 GPP MODIS/Aqua Gross Primary Production 8-Day L4 5 8 1000
MYD17A2H GPP MODIS/Aqua Gross Primary Production 8-Day L4 6 8 500
MYD17A3H NPP MODIS/Aqua Net Primary Production Yearly L4 6 annual 500

Note: This documentation applies to MODIS Collection 6 orders. Collection 5 orders may differ slightly.

Tabular Data Format

Format and example data values for [PRODUCT], [BAND], filtered_scaled, and land cover .csv files provided with the MODIS subset order.

Table 1. File format with column examples and descriptions
Column number Example values Description
1 MOD13Q1.A2000049.h11v05.006.2015136104550.250m_16_days_NDVI
MOD13Q1.A2000049.h11v05.006.2015136104550.250m_16_days_EVI
Unique row identifier
2 MOD13Q1 MODIS Land Product Code
3 A2000049 MODIS Acquisition Date [ A (YYYYDDD) ]
4 Lat35.9625Lon-85.35051Samp7Line7 User selected center point coordinates and specified width (Samp) and height (Line) of bounding rectangle in pixels. Width x height denotes number of product values starting in Column 7. (e.g., 7 x 7 =49)
5 2015136104550 MODIS Processing Date (YYYYDDDHHMMSS)
6 250m_16_days_NDVI
250m_16_days_EVI
Product Scientific Data Set (Band): Indicates type of values to follow. Specific values vary by product.
7 to n NDVI Example
[BAND].csv: 4690,4780,4802,4364, … to n
filtered_scaled_[BAND].csv: 0.469,0.478,F,0.4364, … to n
* Data values of type as specified. Number of data columns as given in Column 4.
* Value "F" indicates a filtered pixel due to failed QC criteria or land cover masking

Product file

Time series for all bands of the requested MODIS product are provided in one file. These data are the starting point for deriving the other subset data products. The [PRODUCT].csv file is formatted according to Table 1.

Filename Example
[PRODUCT].csv MOD13Q1.csv

Bands

Time series for each band are split into a separate file, called [BAND].csv, for each band. The [BAND].csv file is formatted according to Table 1.

Filename Examples
[BAND].csv 250m_16_days_NDVI.csv
250m_16_days_EVI.csv

Filtered and Scaled Data

Time series for data are provided for science data bands with a scale factor and QC filters applied. Pixels that fail QC criteria are set to "F". Pixels corresponding to land cover different than that of the subset center are set to "F" for files named "*_landcovermask.csv". The filtered_scaled files are formatted according to Table 1.

Filename Example
filtered_scaled_[BAND].csv filtered_scaled_250m_16_days_NDVI.csv
filtered_scaled_[BAND]_landcovermask.csv filtered_scaled_250m_16_days_NDVI_landcovermask.csv

Land Cover Subsets

Four .csv files containing land cover data from the MCD12Q1 Land Cover Type 1 (IGBP) product are provided with each subset order. Land cover data are formatted following Table 1.

Filename Description
12q1.csv Land cover from 2013 for subset area
12q1_201x201.csv Land cover from 2013 for a 201 x 201 km region centered on the user-defined subset center
12q1_[1km,500m,250m].csv Land cover from 12q1.csv resampled to match the spatial resolution of the user-requested MODIS product.
12q2.csv MCD12Q2 Land Cover Dynamics timeseries product providing vegetation phenology parameters

Phenology

Phenology files are provided with each order. Data are presented, in tabular format, for average day of greenness increase, maximum, decrease, and minimum for the subset area for each detected phenology cycle derived from MCD12Q2. Phenology files may contain up to two cycles per year.

Filename Description
Phenology.csv Average day by day of year
Phenology_CalendarDates.csv Average day by calendar date

Contents of the phenology .csv files are formatted according to Table 2.

Table 2. Header and example data values for phenology .csv files
Column header Description Example value
Phenology.csv
Example value
Phenology_CalendarDates.csv
Year year of row 2001 2001
Cycle full vegetation cycles (maximum of 2) Cycle 1 Cycle 1
Increase mean day of greenness increase 76 Mar 17
Maximum mean day of greenness maximum 137 May 19
Decrease mean day of greenness decrease 195 Jul 21
Minimum mean day of greenness minimum 308.5 Nov 14

Statistical Summary of Subset Area

Statistical summaries of the data for each step in the time series for science data bands are provided with the MODIS subset order. Pixels corresponding to land cover different than that of the subset center are set to "F" for files named "*_landcovermask.csv". Two .csv files are provided per science data band.

Filename Example
statistics_[BAND].csv statistics_250m_16_days_NDVI.csv
statistics_[BAND]_landcovermask.csv statistics_250m_16_days_NDVI_landcovermask.csv

Contents of the statistics .csv files are formatted according to Table 3.

Table 3. Headers and example data values for statistics .csv files
Column number Column heading Description
1 date[YYYYDDD] MODIS acquisition date. Four-digit year and three-digit day of the year
2 date Acquisition calendar date: YYYY-MM-DD
3 product Selected MODIS Land Product
4 band Scientific Data Set. Refers to a specific wavelength range measured by the MODIS sensor (Band1, 620-670 nm) or to a specific product derived from several measured bands (MOD15A2: Lai_500m and Fpar_500m; MOD09A1: sur_refl_b01, sur_refl_b02, etc.)
5 min Minimum value of pixels within the subset area
6 max Maximum value of pixels within the subset area
7 sum Sum of pixels within the subset area
8 range Range of pixels within the subset area
9 mean Mean value of pixels within the subset area
10 variance Variance of pixels within the subset area
11 standard_deviation Standard deviation of pixels within the subset area
Columns 12-14 for statistics_[BAND].csv
12 tot_pixels Total number of pixels in the requested area
13 pixels_pass_qa Number of pixels in the requested area passing quality filters
14 per_cent_pixels_pass_qa (Number of pixels with acceptable quality in the requested area / total number of pixels) * 100
Columns 12-14 for statistics_[BAND]_landcovermask.csv
12 tot_pixels Total number of pixels in the requested area having the same land cover class as the center pixel
13 pixels_pass_qa Number of pixels in the requested area having the same land cover class as the center pixel and passing quality filters
14 per_cent_pixels_pass_qa (Number of pixels with the same land cover as the center pixel and acceptable quality in the requested area / total number of pixels having the same land cover class as the center pixel) * 100

R Code and Graphics

An R script is provided for each science data band for generating the plots (also provided as .png images) listed in Table 4. R plots are concatenated in a single .pdf file available on the .csv Data page and can be previewed by choosing the "R Code and Graphics" tab at the bottom of the order visualization page.

Table 4. R scripts and plots generated using R scripts for each science data band
Filename Description
R_script[BAND].R R scripts for generating plots for each science band
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig1_timeseries.png Plot of subset mean values and variation over time
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig2_timeseries.png Plot of subset mean values summarized by month
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig3_timeseries.png Plot of subset mean values summarized by year
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig4_timeseries.png Frequency histogram plot of all subset area mean values
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig5_timeseries.png Time series plot with years stacked and a loess smoothed fit curve for each year
R_MODIS_Plots_[BAND]_Fig6_timeseries.png Plot subset area mean grouped by year and month

GeoTIFF Data

Product GeoTIFF Data and Landcover GeoTIFF Data download links provide compressed tar archive files (GTiff.tar.gz and GTiff_mcd12q.tar.gz) containing subset geotiffs.

GTiff.tar.gz

Provides one geotiff per band for each date in the time series generated from the rows in [PRODUCT].csv. Files are named as follows:

Filename Example
[Source MODIS filename]_[BAND].tif MOD13Q1.A2000049.h11v05.006.2015136104550_250m_16_days_NDVI.tif

GTiff_mcd12q.tar.gz

Provides a geotiff for the MCD12Q1 Land Cover Type 1 (IGBP) product from 2013 named as follows:

Filename Example
[Source MODIS filename]_Land_Cover_Type_1.tif MCD12Q1.A2013001.h17v02.005.2011085002532_Land_Cover_Type_1.tif

Citation Files

Citations are provided to allow this specific subset order to be referenced in a publication. Filenames are citation.bib and citation.txt

Aggregate 500m Land Cover (MCD12Q1) to 1km

For the Global subsetting tool, we provide two summaries of data: one is a summary for all pixels in the selected area and the other is the summary for all pixels with the same land cover class as the center pixel (the pixel that contains the field site or flux tower).

In collection 5, the land cover (MCD12Q1) is available at 500m . To obtain a summary of pixels in the selected area with the same land cover class at 1km resolution, the 500m pixels are aggregated to 1km pixels. Below is an image showing the 500m land cover for a 7 x 7 km subset region. The example subset region has a center pixel of   "(1) Evergreen Needleef Forest".

7x7_500m

The aggregation from 500m to 1km pixel is done by identifying 1km pixels that have 2 or more 500m pixels having the same land cover class as the 1km center pixel. Below is a 1km landcover image showing the aggregation. The black pixels cells are pixels that did not satisfy the aggregation criteria.

7x7_1km

Below is a composite image showing the 500m landcover pixels with the aggregated 1-km pixels. The darker regions are 1km pixels that did not satisfy the aggregation criteria.

7x7_500m_1km_aggregate

Method Used to Calculate Albedo from MCD43A1 (MODIS Albedo Model Parameter)

Albedo MCD43A

The ALBEDO data are based on the Terra and Aqua(Combined) MODIS BRDF / Albedo Model Parameter Product (MCD43A1). The primary BRDF model parameters from MCD43A1 are used in the following equations to calculate Black-sky, white-sky, and actual (blue-sky) albedo. We have used a solar zenith angle (szn) equal to local solar noon and an optical depth of 0.2 as default values in calculating these data files.



Black-sky Albedo = Parameters_01 + Parameters_02 * (-0.007574 + (-0.070987 * szn2) + (0.307588 * szn3)) + Parameters_03 * (-1.284909 + (-0.166314 * szn2) + (0.041840 * szn3))

White-sky Albedo = Parameters_01 + Parameters_02 * (0.189184) + Parameters_03 * (-1.377622)

Blue-sky (Actual) Albedo = White-sky Albedo * f(optical depth, solar zenith angle, aerosol type, band) + Black-sky Albedo * (1 - f(optical depth, solar zenith angle, aerosol type, band))

where
Parameters_01 corresponds to the MCD43A1 band "BRDF_Albedo_Parameters_nn.Num_Parameters_01",

Parameters_02 corresponds to the MCD43A1 band "BRDF_Albedo_Parameters_nn.Num_Parameters_02",

Parameters_03 corresponds to the MCD43A1 band "BRDF_Albedo_Parameters_nn.Num_Parameters_03"

for nn=vis (Band_08 Visible Broadband), nn=nir (Band_09 Near Infrared Broadand) and nn=shortwave (Band_10 Shortwave Broadband)

Additional information can be found on the LP DAAC Web site:
https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/dataset_discovery/modis/modis_products_table/mcd43a1

and at the BRDF Science Team Web site:
https://www.umb.edu/spectralmass/terra_aqua_modis/modis_brdf_albedo_product_mcd43

MODIS Product Subsets Output Data File Format and Visualization Descriptions

MODIS Land Product ASCII Data

Description of File

File Content: Data as read from MODIS Land Product HDF-EOS data files. These data are the starting point for deriving the other subset data products.

Data Type: As indicated by Land Product Code (e.g., MOD15A2).

Data Format:

  • ASCII values are comma delimited
  • Row 1 is the header row
  • Data values start in row 2.
  • Rows of QC data are interleaved with measurement data as indicated in Column 6.
  • Note that values may contain embedded periods, dashes, and underscores (".,-, _").
Column Number Column Description Example Values
1 Unique row identifier MOD13Q1.A2000049.fn_ustnwalk.005.2006269073558.250m_16_days_NDVI

MOD13Q1.A2000049.fn_ustnwalk.005.2006269073558.250m_16_days_EVI

2 MODIS Land Product Code MOD13Q1
3 MODIS Acquisition Date

 [A(YYYYDDD) ]

A2000049
4 SiteID

Each site is assigned a unique ID.

fn_ustnwalk
5 MODIS Processing Date (YYYYDDDHHMMSS) 2006269073558
6 Product Scientific Data Set (Band): Indicates type of values to follow. Specific values vary by Product. Data quality information are interleaved. MOD13Q1: 250m_16_days_VI_Quality

MOD17A2: Gpp_1km, PsnNet_1km, Psn_QC_1km

7 to N Data values of type as specified. Number of data columns as given in Column 4.

Definition of QC component values vary by Scientific Data Set.

QC: 00100001,01100001,01100001,

Measurement: 2,2,1,1,1,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,0, to N

Data Quality: Measurement values have not been scaled or filtered based on QC criteria.

MODIS Land Product GeoTIFF Data

Description of File: A general description of GeoTIFF file format can be found at http://www.gdal.org/frmt_gtiff.html .

File Content: Data as read from MODIS Land Product HDF-EOS data files. These data are the starting point for deriving the other subset data products.

Data Type: As indicated by Land Product Code (e.g., MOD15A2).

Data Format:

  • Multi band GeoTIFF
  • Sinusoidal Projection .
  • One file per product per site per composite period
  • Rows of QC data are interleaved with measurement data

Data Quality: Measurement values have not been scaled or filtered based on QC criteria.

Please Note: GeoTIFFs are delivered through the ORNL DAAC website in zip file bundles.