Technical Resources

A number of technical resources are highlighted to aid site staff. These resources have been compiled by the AmeriFlux Tech Team based on questions we have received and our experience visiting sites.

These lists not comprehensive; if you have a resource that you would like to share, please contact the team. Note that many of the resources below are links to outside organizations or companies.

Best practices and protocols

  • AmeriFlux Tech Team best practices checklist (PDF). Based on our site visit experience, we compiled a list of best practices focused around field work activities. The checklist is organized by frequency of each task (weekly, monthly, seasonal). Please contact our team to make recommendations or add items.
  • Calibration protocol used by the AmeriFlux Tech Team for infrared gas analyzers (CO2/H2O) and the LI-7700 methane sensor.
  • The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) published a comprehensive series of documents that describe many relevant aspects of eddy covariance flux measurements including the collection of soil, biological, meteorological, and ancillary measurements. These documents were developed in a community effort (via working groups for each topic) and feature a wide breadth of contributors. Two sets of documents were produced.
    • A series of scientific papers were published (2018) in the journal International Agrophysics (Vol 32, Issue 4) that describe the theory, background, and standards for specific measurement topics. Link here.
    • Instruction documents provide very detailed practical and technical information for site staff describing how to collect various measurements. Link here.
  • The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has published a number of protocols that describe their data collection infrastructure. Link here.
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, created standards of meteorological and related observations in order to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics. These guidelines (updated 2017, 1177 pages) cover a wide range of topics and were published in several languages can be found here (link). For quicker navigation, individual chapters can be accessed here.
    • A summary of the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the WMO Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (SPICE) is available here. This work was also published in a special issue in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (link).
  • Additional relevant publications:
    • Eddy Covariance, A Practical Guide to Measurement and Data Analysis. Editors: M. Aubinet, T. Vesala, D. Papale. Link here.
    • A Brief Practical Guide to Eddy Covariance Flux Measurements. G. Burba, D. Anderson. Link here.

Data visualization tools

Easy, automated data visualization is one of the best ways to detect problems quickly. The ability to view site data in a near-real time manner requires remote data transfer which presents separate challenges. However, with the rapid growth of cellular networks, there are more options for remote data connectivity.

  • Many instrument suppliers offer ‘quick-look’ data visualization resources as part of their data systems. These are usually tailored to specific applications and require less user configurations. Inquire with manufacturers for details.
  • The Desai Lab group presented some excellent graphical tools during the 2018 AmeriFlux Data/Tech workshop. They used an open-source packaged called Gravana. Implementation details were outlined in a blog post.
  • The US-ARM AmeriFlux site produces both static and dynamic plots (automatically updated daily) to use for regular visual checks. The dynamic plots are supported by an open-source plotting library called dygraphs.


The below listing is not comprehensive. It focuses on items that we frequently receive questions about.