MOD11_L2 v006

MODIS/Terra Land Surface Temperature/Emissivity 5-Minute L2 Swath 1 km

PI: Zhengming Wan

The MOD11_L2 Version 6 data product was decommissioned on July 31, 2023. Users are encouraged to use the MOD11_L2 Version 6.1 data product.


The MOD11_L2 Version 6 swath product provides per-pixel Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity (LST&E) with a pixel size of 1,000 meters (m). The product is produced daily in 5-minute temporal increments of satellite acquisition using the generalized split-window algorithm. MOD11_L2 is a Level 2 product which provides the input for the Level 3 products. Provided in each MOD11_L2 file are LST, quality control assessment, error estimates, bands 31 and 32 emissivities, zenith angle of the pixel view, observation time, and the geographic coordinates for every five scan lines and samples.

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Improvements/Changes from Previous Versions

  • Removed cloud-contaminated LSTs from Level 2 and Level 3 LST products.
  • Updated the coefficient look-up table (LUT) for the split-window algorithm with comprehensive regression analysis of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) simulation data in bands 31 and 32 over wide ranges of surface and atmospheric conditions, especially extending the upper boundary for (LST – Ts-air) in arid and semi-arid regions. Increased the overlap between various sub-ranges to reduce the sensitivity of the algorithm to uncertainties in the input data (i.e., column water vapor and air surface temperature from MOD07).
  • Made minor adjustments in the classification-based surface emissivity values, especially for bare soil and rocks land cover types.
  • Tuned the day/night algorithm by adjusting weights to improve performance in desert regions where the incorporated split-window algorithm may not work well.
  • Generated new gridded LST&E products with a 6 km spatial resolution for 8-day (MOD11B2) and monthly (MOD11B3) intervals in response to user community requests.

Product Maturity

Validation at stage 2 has been achieved for all MODIS Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity products. Further details regarding MODIS land product validation for the MOD11 data products are available from the MODIS Land Team Validation site.

Collection and Granule


Characteristic Description
CollectionTerra MODIS
File Size~2.39 MB
Temporal Resolution< Daily
Temporal Extent2000-02-24 to 2022-11-16
Spatial ExtentGlobal
Coordinate SystemNone (Swath)
File FormatHDF-EOS
Geographic Dimensions2330 km x 2000 km


Characteristic Description
Number of Science Dataset (SDS) Layers9
Columns/Rows2030 x 1354
Pixel Size1000 m

Layers / Variables

SDS Name Description Units Data Type Fill Value No Data Value Valid Range Scale Factor Offset
LST Land Surface Temperature Kelvin 16-bit unsigned integer 0 N/A 7500 to 65535 0.02 N/A
QC Quality control for daytime LST and emissivity Bit Field 16-bit unsigned integer N/A N/A 0 to 65535 N/A N/A
Error_LST Land Surface Temperature Error Kelvin 8-bit unsigned integer 0 N/A 1 to 255 0.04 N/A
Emis_31 Band 31 Emissivity N/A 8-bit unsigned integer 0 N/A 1 to 255 0.002 0.49
Emis_32 Band 32 Emissivity N/A 8-bit unsigned integer 0 N/A 1 to 255 0.002 0.49
View_angle Zenith angle of MODIS viewing at the pixel Degree 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0 to 180 0.5 N/A
View_time Local time of pixel observation Hours 8-bit unsigned integer 255 N/A 0 to 240 0.1 N/A
Latitude Latitude of every 5 scan lines and 5 pixels Degree 32-bit floating point -999 N/A -90 to 90 N/A N/A
Longitude Longitude of every 5 scan lines and 5 pixels Degree 32-bit floating point -999 N/A -180 to 180 N/A N/A

Product Quality

The Quality Control (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 layer.

The QA bit flags for the QC layers are provided in the User Guide in Table 8 on page 15.

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.

Known Issues

Production of V6 Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity (LST&E) data products was discontinued on November 16, 2022, due to significant loss of data retrieval following the Constellation Exit Maneuvers.

For complete information about the MOD11_L2 known issues please refer to the MODIS Land Quality Assessment website.

About the image

Terra MODIS land surface temperature data from the MOD11_L2 product over Tibet, Jul 8, 2018.

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User Guide
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD)
File Specification

Using the Data

Access Data


DOI: 10.5067/MODIS/MOD11_L2.006