MODIS Terra Level 3 SST MID-IR Monthly 4km Nighttime V2019.0
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DescriptionDay and night spatially gridded (L3) global NASA skin sea surface temperature (SST) products from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Terra satellite. Average daily, weekly (8 day), monthly and annual skin SST products are available at both 4.63 and 9.26 km spatial resolution. Terra was launched by NASA on December 18, 1999, into a sun synchronous, polar orbit with a daylight descending node at 10:30 am, to study the global dynamics of the Earth atmosphere, land and oceans. The MODIS captures data in 36 spectral bands at a variety of spatial resolutions. Two SST products can be present in these files. The first is a skin SST produced for both day and night observations, derived from the long wave IR 11 and 12 micron wavelength channels, using a modified nonlinear SST algorithm intended to provide continuity with SST derived from heritage and current NASA sensors. At night, a second SST product is produced using the mid-infrared 3.95 and 4.05 micron channels which are unique to MODIS; the SST derived from these measurements is identified as SST4. The SST4 product has lower uncertainty, but due to sun glint can only be produced at night. To generate the L3 products the L2 pixels are binned into an integerized sinusoidal area grid (ISEAG) and mapped into an equidistant cylindrical (also known as Platte Carre) projection. Additional projection detailed can be found at NASA MODIS L3 SST data products are generated by the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) Peter Minnett and his team at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) are responsible for sea surface temperature algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging. JPL acquires and distributes MODIS ocean L3 SST data from the OBPG as the official Physical Oceanography Data Archive (PO.DAAC) for SST. The R2019 superseded the previous v2014.1 datasets which can be found at
Dataset TypeOPEN
Processing Level3
CoverageRegion: Global
Northernmost Latitude: 90 degrees
Southernmost Latitude: -90 degrees
Westernmost Longitude: -180 degrees
Easternmost Longitude: 180 degrees
Time Span: 2000-Feb-24 to Present
Granule Time Span: 2000-Feb-01 to 2020-Jun-30
ResolutionSpatial Resolution: 0.041 degrees (Latitude) x 0.041 degrees (Longitude)
Temporal Resolution: 1 Month
ProjectionType: Gridded
Detail: Equidistant Cylindrical
Ellipsoid: WGS 84
Latency720 hours
Name: Earth Observing System, TERRA (Terra)
Orbit Period: 98.8 minutes
Inclination Angle: 98.2 degrees
Ascending Node: 1970-Jan-01 00:00:00
Name: Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
Swath Width: 2330 km
Description: The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument provides high radiometric sensitivity (12 bit) in 36 spectral bands ranging in wavelength from 0.4 m to 14.4 m. It is used for observing processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.

ProjectEarth Observing System (EOS)
Data ProviderCreator: NASA OBPG
Release Place: OBPG, Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD,US
Release Date: 2020-Jan-15
Keyword(s)OBPG, MODIS, Terra, sst, mid-IR, temperature, level 3, monthly, 4km, nighttime, v2019.0
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User's Guide
Algorithm Descriptions
Additional resource to help better understand the algorithm(s) used in producing and/or calibrating/validating the dataset
SST Reprocessing 2019.0
OBPG SST Reprocessing v2019.0 summary
MODIS level-3 SST
describes all the level 3 MODIS data
Additional Sites
Ocean Biology Processing Group homepage
Ocean Biology Processing Group homepage
Citation NASA OBPG. 2020. MODIS Terra Level 3 SST MID-IR Monthly 4km Nighttime V2019.0. Ver. 2019.0. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

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For more information see Data Citations and Acknowledgments.

Journal Reference Werdell, P.J., B.A. Franz, S.W. Bailey, G.C. Feldman and 15 co-authors (2013). Generalized ocean color inversion model for retrieving marine inherent optical properties, Applied Optics 52, 2019-2037.