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Collection-6 Terra Product Descriptions: MOD05_L2

Last update: February 9, 2015

Data Set Short Name:

Data Set Long Name:
MODIS/Terra Total Precipitable Water Vapor 5-Min L2 Swath 1km and 5km



Product Description:
The MODIS level-2 atmospheric precipitable water product consists of total atmospheric column water vapor amounts (and ancillary parameters) over clear land areas of the globe, over extended clear oceanic areas with the Sun glint, and above clouds over both land and ocean. The shortname for this level-2 MODIS total precipitable water vapor product is MOD05_L2. In Collection 6, MODIS column water vapor (MOD05) datasets continue to be separately available from infrared and near-infrared methods.

The estimates based on a near-infrared algorithm uses only daytime measurements with solar zenith angle less than 72 degrees. The retrieval algorithm relies on observations of water vapor attenuation of near-infrared solar radiation reflected by surfaces and clouds. The product is produced only over areas that have reflective surfaces in the near-infrared. The near-infrared algorithm refinement for this product is no longer being supported by NASA and as such there has been no update to this algorithm for C6.The clear-sky infrared-derived precipitable water vapor generated for both daytime and nighttime conditions is derived from the previously reprocessed Atmospheric Profile (MOD07) C6 product that included a new layer scheme for total precipitable water. MOD05_L2 product files are stored in Hierarchical Data Format (HDF-EOS). The file contains 13 gridded parameters. Each of these gridded MOD05 parameters is stored as a Scientific Data Set (SDS) within the HDF-EOS file. The Water Vapor and Quality Assurance SDS's are stored at 1 kilometer (near-infrared) and 5 kilometer (for infrared) pixel resolution. All other SDS's (those relating to time, geolocation, and viewing geometry) are stored at 5 kilometer pixel resolution. The Cloud Mask SDS, copied from the MOD35_L2 Product is stored at 1 kilometer resolution

Additional information at

Production Frequency:
~288 files per day

Spatial Coverage:

Spatial Resolution:
1x1 km at nadir
5x5 km at nadir

File Size:
~3.5 MB

Related Links:
(MODIS Atmosphere Water Vapor Product site)

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation.

Author (PI), et al., 2015. Product name as given on atmo web site. NASA MODIS Adaptive Processing System, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA: [link as given on atmo site].

For example:
Gao, B., et al., 2015. MODIS Atmosphere L2 Water Vapor Product. NASA MODIS Adaptive Processing System, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA:

Data Authors:
Dr. Bo-Cai Gao (

Dataset Originator/Creator:
MODIS Atmosphere Science Team / Water Vapor Retrieval Group
MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS)

Dataset DOI:

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