Empirical assessment of uncertainties of meteorological parameters and turbulent fluxes in the AmeriFlux network

  • Sites:
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Andres Schmidt,; Chad Hanson; Stephen Chan; Beverly Law

  • Terrestrial ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of carbon, water vapor, and energy has been measured for over a decade at many sites globally. To minimize measurement and analysis errors, quality assurance data have been collected over short periods along-side tower instruments at AmeriFlux research sites. Theoretical and empirical error and uncertainty values have been reported for various aspects of the eddy covariance technique but until recently it has not been possible to constrain network level variation based on direct comparison of side-by-side measurements. Paired observations, although rare in practice, offer a possibility to obtain real-world error estimates for flux observations and corresponding uncertainties. In this study, we report the relative instrumental errors from the AmeriFlux quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) site intercomparisons of 84 site visits (2002–2012). Relative errors, including random and systematic instrumental errors, are presented for meteorological and radiation variables, gas concentrations, and the turbulent fluxes. The lowest relative errors (


  • Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeoscience
  • Funding Agency: DOE
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 117
  • No: G4
  • Pages: 1-15
  • Publication Year: 2012/12/14
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012JG002100
  • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JG002100/abstract