MCD15A3H v006

MODIS/Terra+Aqua Leaf Area Index/FPAR 4-Day L4 Global 500 m SIN Grid

PI: Ranga Myneni

The MCD15A3H Version 6 data product was decommissioned on July 31, 2023. Users are encouraged to use the MCD15A3H Version 6.1 data product.


The MCD15A3H Version 6 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Level 4, Combined Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR), and Leaf Area Index (LAI) product is a 4-day composite data set with 500 meter pixel size. The algorithm chooses the best pixel available from all the acquisitions of both MODIS sensors located on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites from within the 4-day period.

LAI is defined as the one-sided green leaf area per unit ground area in broadleaf canopies and as one-half the total needle surface area per unit ground area in coniferous canopies. FPAR is defined as the fraction of incident photosynthetically active radiation (400-700 nm) absorbed by the green elements of a vegetation canopy.

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Improvements/Changes from Previous Versions

  • The Version 6 product uses the daily Level 2 Gridded (L2G)-lite surface reflectance as input as opposed to MODAGAGG, a MODIS daily aggregated surface reflectance product, used in Version 5.
  • Products are generated at native resolution of 500 meters rather than the 1,000 meters of the Version 5.
  • Version 6 uses an improved multi-year land cover product.

Product Maturity

The LAI product has attained stage 2 validation and the FPAR product has attained stage 1 validation. Further details regarding MODIS land product validation for the LAI/FPAR data products are available from the MODIS land team validation site.

Collection and Granule


Characteristic Description
CollectionCombined MODIS
File Size~4.52 MB
Temporal ResolutionMulti-Day
Temporal Extent2002-07-04 to 2023-02-17
Spatial ExtentGlobal
Coordinate SystemSinusoidal
File FormatHDF-EOS
Geographic Dimensions1200 km x 1200 km


Characteristic Description
Number of Science Dataset (SDS) Layers6
Columns/Rows2400 x 2400
Pixel Size500 m

Layers / Variables

SDS Name Description Units Data Type Fill Value No Data Value Valid Range Scale Factor
Fpar_500m¹ Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation Percent 8-bit unsigned integer 249 to 255 N/A 0 to 100 0.01
Lai_500m¹ Leaf Area Index m²/m² 8-bit unsigned integer 249 to 255 N/A 0 to 100 0.1
FparLai_QC Quality for  FPAR and LAI Class Flag 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0 to 254 N/A
FparExtra_QC Extra detail Quality for  FPAR and LAI Class Flag 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0 to 254 N/A
FparStdDev_500m² Standard deviation of  FPAR Percent 8-bit unsigned integer 248 to 255 N/A 0 to 100 0.01
LaiStdDev_500m² Standard deviation of LAI m²/m² 8-bit unsigned integer 248 to 255 N/A 0 to 100 0.1

¹The LAI and FPAR fill value legends are provided in the User Guide on page 10.

²The LAI and FPAR standard deviation fill value legends are Provided in the User Guide on page 11.

Product Quality

Quality assurance information should be considered when determining the usability of data for a particular science application. The ArcGIS MODIS-VIIRS Python Toolbox contains tools capable of decoding quality data layers while producing thematic quality raster files for each quality attribute.

The QC layer is stored in an efficient bit-encoded manner. The unpack_sds_bits executable from the LDOPE Tools is available to the user community to help parse and interpret the QC layers.

In addition to data access and transformation processes, AppEEARS also has the capability to unpack and interpret the quality layers.

The QC bitmap for the QC layer is provided in the User Guide on pages 8 and 9.

Known Issues

For complete information about the MCD15A2H known issues refer to the MODIS Land Quality Assessment website.

About the image

Combined MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) data from the MCD15A3H product over Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, August 21 -24, 2018.

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User Guide
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD)
File Specification

Using the Data

Access Data


DOI: 10.5067/MODIS/MCD15A3H.006