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DAAC Home > Help > FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
A: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC) is a NASA-sponsored source for biogeochemical, ecological, and environmental data and information useful in environmental research.
A: Biogeochemical dynamics refers to the interactions between the biological, geological, and chemical components of the earth's environment. These dynamics are influenced by interactions between organisms and their surroundings, including soils, sediments, rocks, water, and air.
A: Biogeochemistry is the study of biological controls on the chemistry of the environment (air, water, and soil) and the geochemical regulation of ecosystems. Biogeochemistry is a central focus in the study of ecosystems and is vital to the study of the Earth.
A: The environment is always changing, but human activity has greatly increased the rate of its change since the Industrial Revolution and particularly in the past 30 years. Biogeochemistry is central to understanding changes such as:
  1. global change in the cycling of atmospheric greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen compounds.
  2. loss of biological diversity from accelerated cycling of elements, especially in association with changes in land use
  3. forest die-back from increased deposition of nutrients and acids from the atmosphere
  4. degradation of water quality from increased inputs of nutrients
  5. acidification of streams and lakes from atmospheric deposition
A: The ORNL DAAC offers such services as ORNL DAAC newsletters, user services, computer model archive, data visualization, web map servers, and an educator's corner.
A: The ORNL DAAC publishes a newsletter containing announcements of new data sets and services being offered to the public as well as news of other happenings and events of interest to the biogeochemical dynamics community.
A: The news letter is published semi-annually: once in the winter and once in the summer.
A: The ORNL DAAC's User Services Office is the first point of contact for answering your questions concerning data and information held by the ORNL DAAC.
A: The Data Set Reference sheets provide a quick look at data available for the six primary disciplinary areas of earth science:
  • Atmosphere
  • Calibrated Radiance and Solar Radiance
  • Cryosphere
  • Human Dimensions
  • Land
  • Ocean
A: ORNL DAAC has developed online plots summarizing individual station data for the Global River Discharge project (RivDIS). The station data are organized by country, river, and station.
A: The ORNL DAAC provides visualizations of MODIS land product subsets. Two tools are available to visualize the MODIS subsets: one that provides subsets and visualizations of selected field sites across the globe and another that provides visualizations of subsets up to 200x200 km for any location on the globe. You can access both of these tools at
A: WebGIS is an Internet based technology that enables user to browse, query, and display spatial data using a standard web browser.
A: The ORNL DAAC OGC Spatial Data Access tool provides a web interface to visualize and download spatial data. Land cover, biophysical, elevation, and selected ORNL DAAC archived data are available through the spatial data access tool.
A: To acknowledge the scientists who have provided data, we request that you include a bibliographic citation to all ORNL DAAC data that you use in your publications. Such citations will help others find the products and see how they have been used.
A: The reprint policy states that you must send us one reprint of each of your publications that use data from the ORNL DAAC. If reprints are not available, we request a bibliographic citation to your work.
A: From such information, we can better tell the user community how the data have been used, and we can keep our product-related references current.
A: The ORNL DAAC offers the following resources:
  • Product Documentation Directory
  • Photo Gallery
  • DAAC Related Articles
  • Acronyms (CDIAC Web Site)
  • Glossary (CDIAC Web Site)
All of the resources can be found under the Information bar tab.
A: Here are a few suggestions to look at on your computer:
  • Make sure to enable Java Script if is disabled
  • Enable session cookies
  • Enable site pop-ups if you have a pop-up blocker
  • Use a recent, popular browser
If these do not work, contact us via e-mail.
A: Cookies are small pieces of data stored on your computer. Used spitefully, they can convey personal information where you don't want it to go. Our site uses the safer session cookies and does not store personal information in them.
A: We use cookies to identify our users and to customize our service.
A: Our cookie can be identified from "" in the cookie notification.
A: No, only the ORNL DAAC can read the information about you in our cookie. No other web site has access to it through your browser. A web site can read only the cookies that it has placed.
No, if you delete the cookie, you simply need to sign in again when you return to our site. Our server will replace the cookie.
A: We have prepared guidance on information management practices that can be found on this web page: The page gives all the information needed to follow the ORNL DAAC requirements.
A: Under the Search Options bar, there is an advanced search option. You can go to that web page and search specifically for your inquiry.
A: Under the search options is the "browse by attribute" option. This allows you to search for projects based on their attributes. For example, you could search for a project by name, by researchers involved, etc.
A: The ORNL DAAC is a source for biogeochemical and ecological data useful for studying environmental processes. These data have been collected on the ground, from aircraft, and from satellite, and have been generated by computer models. Some such projects include (but are not limited to) SAFARI 2000, FIFE, BOREAS, etc. For more projects, go under "Project Info" and click any one of the tabs beneath it.
A: Some projects are ongoing, like LBA, while others were conducted and completed almost 20 years ago. More information keeps coming to the ORNL DAAC from the ongoing research studies.
A: A lot of the projects have a "more" page with more information on the given research study. Also, the related information bar on the far right side contains more overall information about topics related to the project.
A: Yes, in fact upon going on to, you will find several other projects such as FLUXNET, CDIAC, and ARM as well as more.
A: Field campaigns are projects that typically involve numerous investigators collectively studying selected aspects of the ecology and biogeochemistry of a particular region or biome.
A: Yes, your personal information is protected through our privacy policy. Go to the following page to see information on our policy:
A: The ORNL DAAC always has new data and information, as well as articles, updating the website. Being registered enables you to learn of these updates through a semi annual newsletter as well as e-mails.
A: If you have previously registered on our website but forgotten your password, follow these steps:
  1. Click "sign in"
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Click on the "Forgotten Password" link
Your password will be emailed to you. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact us.