AmeriFlux at Scale: Paving the Way to Supporting 1,000+ Flux Sites


Gilberto Pastorello1* ([email protected]), You-Wei Cheah1, Danielle S. Christianson1, Housen Chu1, Sigrid Dengel1, Stephen Chan1, André Santos1, Sy-Toan Ngo1, Fianna O’Brien1, Rachel Hollowgrass2, Dario Papale3, Christin Buechner1, Deb Agarwal1, Sebastien Biraud1, Margaret S. Torn1,2


1Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; 2University of CaliforniaBerkeley, CA; 3University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy



The AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP) is well on its way to supporting over 1,000 sites in the next decade, based on recent growth. The AmeriFlux network currently has over 600 sites registered, with data available for 444, and over 5,000 unique downloads since 2015. AMP offers a wide range of services to the scientific community, including technical site visits, equipment loans, calibration gases, rapid response systems, high-frequency data storage, quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) processing, data product digital object identifiers, and standardization of flux and meteorological (flux-met) data. Researchers highlight ongoing and future efforts to keep meeting the increasing demand for AmeriFlux data services.

The AmeriFlux BASE data-processing pipeline receives flux-met data in a standardized half-hourly format from site teams. Automated QA/QC checks are executed, results are communicated to site teams via online reports, and communications and issue resolution are managed via a customized issue tracking system. The resulting data product is made available for download on the AmeriFlux website. The pipeline is continually enhanced, most recently by piloting a system for self-review QA/QC by site teams. Over 3,000 site-years of data are available to researchers and educators who can tailor their search with the updated AmeriFlux Data and Site Search webpage, which includes filters for years of data availability, data variable type, site characteristics, and more.

Starting from the AmeriFlux BASE data product and additional information about the site, the ONEFlux processing pipeline was used to create the FLUXNET data product. Key steps in the ONEFlux pipeline are: (1) gap-filling of micrometeorological, flux, and other environmental variables; (2) partitioning of net ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes into respiration and gross primary productivity; and (3) estimation of uncertainty from the measurements and data processing steps. The AmeriFlux FLUXNET data product is available for over 75 sites. This product is fully compatible with the widely used FLUXNET2015 product and updated FLUXNET products being generated by other regional networks.

AMP also implemented a distributed and scalable framework for site visits and training, which are increasing the number of sites assessed and enhancing community engagement. AMP has seven Rapid Response Systems that are loaned for emerging research opportunities (e.g., urban systems and disturbance). These data products and research resources are used in many different applications, such as model evaluation (e.g., International Land Model Benchmarking package; iLAMB), remote sensing validation, ecosystem research, and natural resource management.