MCD15A3H v061

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

PI: Ranga Myneni


The MCD15A3H Version 6.1 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 6.1 Level-1B (L1B) products have been improved by undergoing various calibration changes that include: changes to the response-versus-scan angle (RVS) approach that affects reflectance bands for Aqua and Terra MODIS, corrections to adjust for the optical crosstalk in Terra MODIS infrared (IR) bands, and corrections to the Terra MODIS forward look-up table (LUT) update for the period 2012 - 2017.
  • A polarization correction has been applied to the L1B Reflective Solar Bands (RSB).

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~3.7 MB
Temporal ResolutionMulti-Day
Temporal Extent2002-07-04 to Present
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


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 FPAR and LAI fill value legends are provided in Table 7 of the User Guide.

²The FPAR and LAI standard deviation fill value legends are provided in Table 8 of the User Guide.

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.

The QC bitmap for the QC layer is provided in section 6.1 of the User Guide.

Known Issues

For complete information about known issues please refer to the MODIS/VIIRS Land Quality Assessment website.

About the image

Combined MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) data from the MCD15A3H product over Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, August 20 -23, 2020.

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User Guide
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD)
File Specification

Using the Data

Access Data


DOI: 10.5067/MODIS/MCD15A3H.061