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Sea Surface Temperature from MODIS/Aqua
Program: NASA Earth Observing System
Sensor: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
Data Stream: Recorder LAC
Primary Geophysical Parameter: Sea Surface Temperature
Nominal Accuracy: ±1 degree Celsius
Spatial grid: 0.025 degrees longitude by 0.025 degrees latitude, geographic
Spatial coverage: Pacific Ocean, 120E to 40W longitude, 45S to 65N latitude
Temporal Coverage: Jan, 2006 - present
FGDC Metadata Data Quality Act Documentation
CoastWatch offers sea surface temperature measurements from the MODIS sensor on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. SST is processed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Information on the Aqua satellite, the MODIS sensor, and NASA's processing of MODIS SST can be found on NASA's OceanColor Web.
Water leaving radiances are gathered by the MODIS sensor and processed to sea surface temperature by Goddard's Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) using the multi-sensor level-1 to level-2 (msl12) software, the same software used to process MODIS ocean color data. Details on the OBPG's processing of MODIS SST can be found at https://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/DOCS/modis_sst/. The OBPG's processing of MODIS SST shows excellent agreement with the prior version of MODIS SST processing developed by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (Brown and Minnett, 1999). CoastWatch uses source data from daytime passes only, which is available with a higher quality cloud-mask than data from nighttime passes.
Data are made available at approximately 2.7km resolution for the Pacific Ocean region. MODIS SST is accurate to within ±1 degree Celsius, and SST values are validated by comparison with buoys temperature data from the National Data Buoy Center. The data are mapped to an equal angle grid (0.025 degrees latitude by 0.025 degrees longitude) using a simple arithmetic mean to produce composite images of various images (1, 3, 8, 14-day, and monthly).
Despite our best efforts, incorrect data may often appear within near real time data sets. NOAA CoastWatch accepts no liability for use of these data products. It is recommended that these products NOT be used for navigation.
If this data is used for presentation or publication, please acknowledge the NOAA CoastWatch Program and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, OceanColor Web.
References and suggested citations:
Brown, O.B. and P.J. Minnett. 1999. MODIS Infrared Sea Surface Temperature Algorithm, Version 2.0. Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document, ATBD25. University of Miami, Miami, FL. Under Contract Number NAS5-31361.