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Frequently Asked Questions

About the ORNL DAAC

What is the ORNL DAAC?

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics is one of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) data centers, which are responsible for providing scientific and other users access to data from NASA's Earth Science Missions. The scientific domains served by the ORNL DAAC include: terrestrial ecology, biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, ecosystems and environmental modelling. ORNL DAAC is operated by the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division and is responsible for data archival, product development and distribution, and user support for biogeochemical and ecological data and models. To learn more, see Who We Are.

About Data

What kind of data is archived at the ORNL DAAC?

The ORNL DAAC provides scientific data in support of NASA's Earth Science program. A list of major field campaigns and projects we have archived is available on our Get Data page. Key data variables include: vegetation, soils, atmospheric radiation, ecological dynamics, biomass, carbon flux, land use/land cover, and fire.

Is there a cost associated with downloading data?

No. Data archived at the ORNL DAAC is free and open to the public. Users will need to register for an account to download data. Registration is also free.

Get Data

How can I find the data I am looking for?

See the Get Data page for the options the ORNL DAAC offers to find data of interest.

How do I download data?

The "Download Data" button directly downloads the dataset in zipped format for datasets that are 4 GB or less.

Datasets can be ordered through our shopping cart as a complete package or by specifying data files included in the dataset. Selected items are saved to a shopping cart for review before completing the order. Users who place orders through this method, will receive an email confirmation with an https link to the data when the order is ready for retrieval.

Project pages also display the option of retrieving data by HTTPS browse.

Submit Data

What kind of data can I submit to the ORNL DAAC?

The ORNL DAAC archives data produced by NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program that are relevant to understanding the dynamics and processes of the biological, geological, and chemical components of Earth's environment. Detailed information about how we archive data can be found on the Archival Priority page.

I would like to archive my data at the ORNL DAAC. How do I proceed?

Fill out our Submit Data form if you are interested in submitting your dataset to the ORNL DAAC.

Where can I find more information about data management, sharing, and archiving my data?

See our Data Management for Data Provider pages for an overview of data management planning and preparation and to learn practical methods to successfully share and archive your data.

Tools & Services

What tools and services does the ORNL DAAC offer?

ORNL DAAC provides various tools and services to help researchers readily find, access, and visualize datasets of interest. A broad categorization of the tools and their functionality are provided on our Tools page.


Why do I have to sign in to download data?

Registration and the log-in system is managed by our sponsor, NASA Earthdata. Your Earthdata login helps the EOSDIS program better understand the usage of EOSDIS services to improve user experience through customization of tools and improvement of services.

Is Earthdata Login safe and secure?

Earthdata Login is secure, at a number of levels. First, you may notice the "https" in the URL: That tells you that when you are talking to Earthdata Login, you are talking over HTTPS, the secure version of the protocol that allows your web browser to talk to Earthdata Login. Second, your password is encrypted in Earthdata Login. That means that even Earthdata Login administrators cannot simply open up your record and check out your password, even from the back-end! And third, because when you log into EOSDIS tools and services, you use a form provided by Earthdata Login itself, you are never giving your password to another application... even one you trust!

How do I register for an account? Is it free?

Registration is free and new users can create a profile by filling out a simple form on the Earthdata Login page

How do I retrieve my username or reset my password?

The Earthdata LogIn page, which is displayed when a user selects "Sign In" on any of our pages, offers assistance if username or password are forgotten or lost.


How do I cite data from the ORNL DAAC?

To acknowledge the scientists who have provided products, we request that users include a bibliographic citation to all ORNL DAAC products used in publications. Full citations for datasets archived at the ORNL DAAC are included on each dataset page and in the provided documentation.

For more on citations, including examples, please see our Data Citation Policy.

Contact Us or check out our Help page if you have other questions.