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BIGFOOT Meteorological Data for North and South American Sites, 1991-2004
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Revision date: February 21, 2012


The BigFoot Project compiled daily meteorological measurements for nine EOS Land Validation Sites located from Alaska to Brazil from 1991 to 2004. Each site is representative of one or two distinct biomes, including the Arctic tundra; boreal evergreen needleleaf forest; temperate cropland, grassland, evergreen needleleaf forest, and deciduous broadleaf forest; desert grassland and shrubland; and tropical evergreen broadleaf forest.

The BigFoot Project needed meteorological data to run ecosystem process models used for scaling GPP and NPP products, for monitoring interannual variability, and for model testing. Meteorological data were obtained from various agencies collecting data in the vicinity of the BigFoot sites and, for more recent years, collected on co-located CO2 flux measurement towers. A comparable set of original measurements from all sites were aggregated to a common daily time step for use in the BIOME-BGC model.

Additional information about the BigFoot Project and access to other validation products for land cover, leaf area index (LAI), net primary production (NPP), and gross primary production (GPP) may be obtained at BigFoot Project page at the ORNL DAAC [ ].

The companion document ( identifies the sources of the meteorological data compiled for each BigFoot site and the processing performed by the BigFoot project to aggregate the data to a daily time step for use in the BIOME-BGC model. The meteorological data file format and content are also described.

We are archiving daily meteorological data for the following sites and years. The annual data files for each site are combined in a single compressed file (e.g., The individual data files are in ASCII comma separated format (e.g., bigfoot_nobs_met_2002.csv).

Site Site Location Biome 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
NOBS BOREAS NSA, Canada boreal forest      XXXXXXXXX   
AGRO Bondville, Illinois, USA cropland (corn and soybean)        XXXXXX    
HARV Harvard Forest LTER, Massachusetts, USA temperate mixed forestXXXXXXXXXXXX  
KONZ Konza Prairie LTER, Kansas, USA tallgrass prairie  XXXXXXXXXX   
CHEQ Park Falls, Wisconsin, USA temperate mixed forest                   XXX  
METLCascades, Oregon, USA temperate needleleaf forest                     X  
SEVI Sevilleta LTER, New Mexico, USA desertXXXXXXXXXXXX  
TAPA Tapajos, Brazil tropical broadleaf evergreen forest                     XXX
TUND Barrow, AK, USA arctic tundra    XXXXXXXXXX  


BigFoot Project Background:

Reflectance data from MODIS, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer onboard NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite Terra (, are used to produce several science products including land cover, leaf area index (LAI), gross primary production (GPP), and net primary production (NPP). The overall goal of the BigFoot Project was to provide validation of these products. To do this, BigFoot combined ground measurements, additional high-resolution remote-sensing data, and ecosystem process models at nine flux tower sites representing different biomes to evaluate the effects of the spatial and temporal patterns of ecosystem characteristics on MODIS products. BigFoot characterized up to a 7 x 7 km area (49 1-km MODIS pixels) surrounding the CO2 flux towers located at each of the nine sites. We collected multi-year, in situ measurements of ecosystem structure and functional characteristics related to the terrestrial carbon cycle. Our sampling design allowed us to examine scales and spatial pattern of these properties, the inter-annual variability and validity of MODIS products, and provided for a field-based ecological characterization of the flux tower footprint. BigFoot was funded by NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program.

Additional Documentation:

The BigFoot Field Manual (Campbell et al., 1999)  provides background information on site and plot locations and measurements. (BigFoot_Field_Manual_1999.pdf )

For more details on the BigFoot Project, please visit the website: (

Additional site characteristics information is available on the ORNL DAAC FLUXNET web site (

Carbon and energy flux data may be available for selected sites on the AmeriFlux Network web site (


Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Turner, D.P., M.J. Gregory, and W.D. Ritts. 2012. BIGFOOT Meteorological Data for North and South American Sites, 1991-2004. Data set. Available on-line ( from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

BigFoot Data Policy:

Please notify the appropriate PIs of how the data will be used and of any publication plans. If the PIs feel that they should be acknowledged or offered participation as authors, they will let you know and we assume that an agreement on such matters will be reached prior to publishing and/or use of the data for publication. If your work directly competes with the PIs analysis they may ask that they have the opportunity to submit a manuscript before you submit one that uses their data. In addition, when publishing, please cite the data source (as given in the metadata that accompanies the data set).

Principal Investigators Contact Link:

Related Data Sets: ( )

Data Description:

The companion document ( identifies the sources of the meteorological data compiled for each BIGFOOT site and the processing performed by the BIGFOOT project to aggregate the data to a daily time step for use in the BIOME-BGC model.

The annual data files for each site are combined in a single compressed file (e.g., The individual data files are in ASCII comma separated format (*.csv).

Data File Contents:

Column Names  (Row 1) Units  (Row 2)Variable Description
SITElocationBigFoot Site Name
DAYdayDay of Year
PRCPcmPrecipitation (cm)
TMAXdeg CMaximum Daily Temperature (deg C)
TMINdeg CMinimum Daily Temperature (deg C)
VPDPaDaily Average Vapor Pressure Deficit (Pa)
SWAVGFDW m^-2Daily Average Instantaneous Shortwave Flux Density (W/m2)
PARW m^-2Daily Average Instantaneous Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) (W/m2)
DAYLsDaylength (s)

BIGFOOT Site Abbreviations and Locations:

Site Site LocationFluxnet Site CodeBiome
NOBSBOREAS NSA, CanadaCA-Manboreal forest
AGROBondville, Illinois, USA US-Bo1cropland (corn and soybean)
HARVHarvard Forest LTER, Massachusetts, USA US-Ha1temperate mixed forest
KONZKonza Prairie LTER, Kansas, USA US-Kontallgrass prairie
CHEQPark Falls, Wisconsin, USA US-PFatemperate mixed forest
METLCascades, Oregon, USA Old Pine:
temperate needleleaf forest
METLCascades, Oregon, USA First Young Pine:
temperate needleleaf forest
SEVISevilleta LTER, New Mexico, USA US-Segdesert
TAPATapajos, Brazil BR-Sa1tropical broadleaf evergreen forest
TUNDBarrow, AK, USAUS-Brwarctic tundra

Example data file (e.g., bigfoot_konz_met_2001.csv):

location,day,cm,deg C,deg C,Pa,W m^-2,W m^-2,s

BigFoot Site Center and Tower Locations

Site Name Latitude LongitudeUTM X Coord UTM Y CoordUTM Zone
NOBS Center 55.885260 -98.477268 532698 6193433 14N
NOBS Tower 55.879547 -98.480843 532479 6192795 14N
KONZ Center 39.089073 -96.571398 710046 4329469 14N
KONZ Tower 39.082286 -96.560251 711030 4328742 14N
AGRO Center 40.0066580 -88.291535 389764 4429295 16N
AGRO Tower 40.006627 -88.291030 389807 4429291 16N
HARV Center 42.528513 -72.172907 732194 4712333 18N
HARV Tower 42.538259 -72.171378 732283 4713419 18N
TUND Center 71.271908 -156.613307 585509 7909410 4N
TUND Tower 71.280866 -156.612205 585509 7910410 4N
SEVI Center 34.350858 -106.689897 344578 3802353 13N
SEVI Tower 34.360290 -106.700285 343640 3803415 13N
TAPA Center -2.869745 -54.949355 727950 9682600 21S
TAPA Tower -2.856664 -54.958919 726889 9684049 21S
METL Center 44.450722 -121.572812 613554 4922926 10N
METL Tower, Old Pine 44.499166 -121.622369 609520 4928239 10N
METL Tower, Young Pine 44.437189 -121.566756 614062 4921431 10N
CHEQ Center 45.945404 -90.272475 246360 5093190 16N
CHEQ Tower 45.945278 -90.274444 245207 5093182 16N

Data Access:

This data is available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

Data Archive Center:

Contact for Data Center Access Information:
Telephone: +1 (865) 241-3952


Thorton, P.E. and Running, S.W. 1999. An improved algorithm for estimating incident daily solar radiation from measurements of temperature, humidity, and precipitation. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 93:211-228.

Turner, D.P., W.D. Ritts, W.B. Cohen, S.T. Gower, M. Zhao, S.W. Running, S.C. Wofsy, S. Urbanski, A. Dunn, and J.W. Munger. 2003. Scaling gross primary production (GPP) over boreal and deciduous forest landscapes in support of MODIS GPP product validation. Remote Sensing of Environment 88:256-270.