Short communication: Gap filling strategies for long term energy flux data sets

Eva Falge, Dennis Baldocchi, Richard Olson, Peter Anthoni, Marc Aubinet, Christian Bernhofer, George Burba, Reinhart Ceulemans, Robert Clement, Han Dolman, André Granier, Patrick Gross, Thomas Grünwald, David Hollinger, Niels Otto Jensen, Gabriel Katul, Petri Keronen, Andrew Kowalski, Chun Ta Lai, Beverley E. LawTilden Meyers, John Moncrieff, Eddy Moors, J. William Munger, Kim Pilegaard, Üllar Rannik, Corinna Rebmann, Andrew Suyker, John Tenhunen, Kevin Tu, Shashi Verma, Timo Vesala, Kell Wilson, Steve Wofsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

455 Scopus citations


At present a network of over 100 field sites are measuring carbon dioxide, water vapor and sensible heat fluxes between the biosphere and atmosphere, on a nearly continuous basis. Gaps in the long term measurements of evaporation and sensible heat flux must be filled before these data can be used for hydrological and meteorological applications. We adapted methods of gap filling for NEE (net ecosystem exchange of carbon) to energy fluxes and applied them to data sets available from the EUROFLUX and AmeriFlux eddy covariance databases. The average data coverage for the sites selected was 69% and 75% for latent heat (λE) and sensible heat (H). The methods were based on mean diurnal variations (half-hourly binned means of fluxes based on previous and subsequent days, MDV) and look-up tables for fluxes during assorted meteorological conditions (LookUp), and the impact of different gap filling methods on the annual sum of λE and H is investigated. The difference between annual λE filled by MDV and λE filled by LookUp ranged from - 120 to 210 MJ m-2 per year, i.e. -48 to +86 mm per year, or -13 to +39% of the annual sum. For annual sums of H differences between -140 and + 140 MJ m-2 per year or -12 to +19% of the annual sum were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001


  • AmeriFlux
  • Data filling
  • Eddy covariance
  • Interpolation techniques
  • Latent heat
  • Sensible heat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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