Reservoir Storage and Evaporation

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The MODIS  Reservoir Storage and Evaporation product includes time series of surface area, elevation, storage, evaporation rate, and volumetric evaporation. The MOD28 reservoir surface area algorithm is based on image classifications of NIR reflectance from both Terra (MOD09Q1) and Aqua (MYD09Q1). The storage and elevation values are calculated by applying the area to the pre-established Area-Volume-Elevation (AVE) curves for each reservoir of interest. The MOD28 reservoir evaporation rate is estimated using the newly developed Lake Temperature and Evaporation Model (LTEM). In the LTEM the MODIS LST data (MOD11A2 and MYD11A2) are employed to constrain the modified Hostetler Model for calculating lake water temperature profiles. The temperature profiles were then used to calculate lake heat storage change term in the Penman equation. The calculation of the evaporation rate also requires gridded meteorological inputs from GLDAS and bathymetric data. The volumetric evaporation is calculated as the product of the evaporation rate and surface area.

This product provides data for 164 global reservoirs. The total capacity of these reservoirs is 2904 km3, which represents 43.65% of the global capacity. The MOD28 product is available as both an 8-day and a monthly product, however, the evaporation rate and volumetric evaporation parameters are only available in the monthly product. All of these time series estimates are made available in tabular form, using the VDATA model in HDF format.

These MODIS reservoir observations can be used to support various applications, such as hydrological monitoring and modeling, water resources management, and Earth system modeling.


Product PI: Huilin Gao

User Guide (in progress)

ATBD (in progress)





See links below to the Product Description pages posted at the LP DAAC (product details, data access links, and more....)


Product Name

Area, elevation, and storage 8-day

Area, elevation, storage, evaporation rate, volumetric evaporation monthly

Terra Product ID



  Aqua Product ID





Zhao, G., X. Cai, and H. Gao, Estimating lake temperature profile and evaporation losses by leveraging MODIS LST data, Remote Sensing of Environment (2020),, 2020.

Li, Y., Zhao, G., and H. Gao, MODIS global reservoir storage product, Remote Sensing, in preparation.