Collection 6 Aqua Product Descriptions:MYD06_L2

Last update:March 9, 2015

Data Set Short Name:

Data Set Long Name:
MODIS/Aqua Clouds 5-Min L2 Swath 1km and 5km



Product Description:
The level-2 MODIS cloud product consists of cloud optical and physical parameters. These parameters are derived using remotely sensed infrared, visible and near infrared solar reflected radiances. MODIS infrared channel radiances are used to derive cloud top temperature, cloud top height, effective emissivity, cloud phase (ice vs. water, opaque vs. non-opaque), and cloud fraction under both daytime and nighttime conditions. MODIS visible radiances are used to derive cloud optical thickness and effective particle radius and cloud shadow effects. Near infrared solar reflected radiance provides additional information in the retrieval of cloud particle phase (ice vs. water, clouds vs. snow). The shortname for this level-2 MODIS cloud product is MYD06_L2. The MYD06_L2 consists of parameters at a spatial resolution of either 1- km or 5-km (at nadir). Each MYD06_L2 product file covers a five-minute time interval. This means that for 5-km resolution parameters, the output grid is 270 pixels in width by 406 pixels in length. Every tenth granule has an output grid size of 270 by 408 pixels. For 1-km resolution parameters, the output grid is 1354 pixels in width by 2030 pixels in length and every tenth granule has an output grid size of 1354 by 2040 pixels.

MYD06_L2 product files are stored in Hierarchical Data Format (HDF-EOS). All gridded cloud parameters are stored as Scientific Data Sets (SDS) within the file, except two (band number and statistics). These are stored as Vdata (table arrays). Approximately 288 files are produced daily. Nighttime files are smaller than their daytime counterparts since only cloud top properties are retrieved at night.

The MODIS Cloud Product will be used to investigate seasonal and inter-annual changes in cirrus (semi-transparent) global cloud cover and cloud phase with multispectral observations at high spatial (1 kilometer) resolution.

For more information about the MOD06_L2 product, visit the MODIS-Atmosphere site at

Production Frequency:
288 files per day

Spatial Coverage:

Spatial Resolution:
1 km & 5 km at nadir

File Size (MB):

Related Links:
(MODIS Atmosphere Cloud 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 modis-atmos website].

For example: Platnick, S., Ackerman, S., King, M., et al., 2015. MODIS Atmosphere L2 Cloud Product (06_L2). NASA MODIS Adaptive Processing System, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA:

Data Authors:
Dr. Steve Platnick, Dr. Michael King, and Gala Wind (Cloud Optical Properties)
Dr. Steve Ackerman, Dr. Paul Menzel, and Rich Frey (Cloud Top Properties)

Dataset Originator/Creator:
MODIS Atmosphere Science Team / Cloud Optical Properties Retrieval Group
MODIS Atmosphere Science Team / Cloud Top Properties Retrieval Group
MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS)

Dataset DOI: