28 Jul 2021

28 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A flux tower dataset tailored for land model evaluation

Anna M. Ukkola, Gab Abramowitz, and Martin G. De Kauwe Anna M. Ukkola et al.
  • Climate Change Research Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes UNSW Sydney, Kensington, NSW, Australia

Abstract. Eddy covariance flux towers measure the exchange of water, energy and carbon fluxes between the land and atmosphere. They have become invaluable for theory development and evaluating land models. However, flux tower data as measured (even after site post-processing) are not directly suitable for land surface modelling due to data gaps in model forcing variables, inappropriate gap-filling, formatting and varying data quality. Here we present a quality-control and data-formatting pipeline for tower data from FLUXNET2015, La Thuile and OzFlux syntheses and the resultant 170-site globally distributed flux tower dataset specifically designed for use in land modelling. The dataset underpins the second phase of the PLUMBER land surface model benchmarking evaluation project, an international model intercomparison project encompassing > 20 land surface and biosphere models. The dataset is provided in the Assistance for Land-surface Modelling Activities (ALMA) NetCDF format and is CF-NetCDF compliant. For forcing land surface models, the dataset provides fully gap-filled meteorological data that has had periods of low data quality removed. Additional constraints required for land models, such as reference measurement heights, vegetation types and satellite-based monthly leaf area index estimates, are also included. For model evaluation, the dataset provides estimates of key water, carbon and energy variables, with the latent and sensible heat fluxes additionally corrected for energy balance closure. The dataset provides a total of 1040 site years covering the period 1992–2018, with individual sites spanning from 1 to 21 years. The dataset is available at (Ukkola et al., 2021).

Anna M. Ukkola et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-181', David Lawrence, 01 Sep 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply to RC1', Gab Abramowitz, 20 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-181', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Gab Abramowitz, 20 Oct 2021

Anna M. Ukkola et al.

Model code and software

PLUMBER2: forcing and evaluation datasets for a model intercomparison project for land surface models v1.0 Ukkola, A. M., Abramowitz, G., and De Kauwe, M. G.

Anna M. Ukkola et al.


Total article views: 391 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
287 78 26 391 33 3 9
  • HTML: 287
  • PDF: 78
  • XML: 26
  • Total: 391
  • Supplement: 33
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 9
Views and downloads (calculated since 28 Jul 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 28 Jul 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 373 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 373 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 24 Oct 2021
Short summary
Flux towers provide measurements of water, energy and carbon fluxes. Flux tower data are invaluable in improving and evaluating land models but are not suited to modelling applications as published. Here we present a flux tower data tailored for land modelling, encompassing 170 sites globally. Our dataset resolves several key limitations hindering the use of flux tower data in land modelling, including incomplete forcing variable, data format and low data quality.