U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

PI-Submitted Research Highlights for
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program

The FLUXNET2015 Dataset

Margaret S. Torn
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


18 April 2017
A new dataset to keep a sharper eye on land-air exchanges

The Science  
FLUXNET2015 is the largest and most complete dataset of land-atmosphere fluxes ever produced, including data from 212 sites from 30 countries. The FLUXNET and DOE AmeriFlux Management Project teams created the dataset, in a large-scale collaborative endeavor with regional networks and site teams from around the world.

The Impact
The data and derived products in the FLUXNET2015 dataset are consistently quality controlled and gap-filled, made simple to use, and can be used to validate satellite measurements, inform earth system models, provide insight into ecology and hydrology questions — as well as fuel novel applications, many harnessing big data tools, from the scales of microbes to continents. As an indication of the expected impact of this data release, only one year after its first announcement, the FLUXNET2015 dataset had been downloaded by more users than the previous release in the entirety of its nearly 10 years lifetime. In its first 15 months, FLUXNET2015 has had over 87,000 site-data downloads, more than twice the total number for the previous release (LaThuile2007: 41,000). Many factors contribute to the high scientific demand, including the enhanced derived products and long time-series in the dataset as well as growing emphasis on confronting data with models, more advanced data tools, and a more open data policy.

In the mid 1990s, regional networks like AmeriFlux and the European Fluxes Database were established to enable sharing of data and methods from measuring carbon, energy, and water exchanges between land and the atmosphere. FLUXNET brought these networks together, and allowed the creation of global synthesis datasets: the Marconi dataset in 2000, the LaThuile Dataset in 2007, and now the FLUXNET2015 dataset. These datasets were key to answering science questions on themes ranging from soil microbiology to the global carbon cycle. Among the new features for FLUXNET2015 are intensive data quality checks; energy corrections applied to achieve energy balance closure, potentially making the data more useful to climate and ecosystem models requiring closed energy budget; estimation of uncertainties for processing steps, leading to uncertainty quantification suitable for use in data-model integration; and improved accuracy of gap-filled data and aggregated products (e.g., daily or yearly sums) through use of downscaled ERA-Interim reanalysis data.

Contacts (BER PM)
Daniel Stover
Daniel.Stover@science.doe.gov, 301-903-0289

(PI Contact)
Margaret S. Torn
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Funding for the AmeriFlux Management Project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Funding for the FLUXNET Partnership Project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

This research used resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

Other acknowledgments
This work used eddy covariance data acquired and shared by the FLUXNET community, including these networks: AmeriFlux, AfriFlux, AsiaFlux, CarboAfrica, CarboEuropeIP, CarboItaly, CarboMont, ChinaFlux, Fluxnet-Canada, GreenGrass, ICOS, KoFlux, LBA, NECC, OzFlux-TERN, TCOS-Siberia, and USCCC. The ERA-Interim reanalysis data are provided by ECMWF and processed by LSCE. The FLUXNET eddy covariance data processing and harmonization was carried out by the European Fluxes Database Cluster, AmeriFlux Management Project, and Fluxdata project of FLUXNET, with the support of CDIAC and ICOS Ecosystem Thematic Center, and the OzFlux, ChinaFlux and AsiaFlux offices.

G. Z. Pastorello, D. Papale, H. Chu, C. Trotta, D. A. Agarwal, E. Canfora, D. D. Baldocchi, and M. S. Torn (2017), A new data set to keep a sharper eye on land-air exchanges, Eos, 98 (Published on 17 April 2017). https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO071597

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