Max Planck Gesellschaft
Max Planck Gesellschaft

IMPRS-gBGC course 'Eddy Covariance'

Category: Skill course
Credit points: 0.2/course day

1.  General information

Date: September 16-25, 2019
Location: B0.002 MPI for Biogeochemistry, Jena
Teacher: Mathias Goeckede, Olaf Kolle, Mirco Migliavacca, Tarek El-Madany
Category: skill course
0.2 CP per course day
>> Eddy Covariance 2019

This workshop will cover 4 days, split up into Basics (day 1-2) at the beginning, followed by the Post-processing and excursion (day 3-4). The course itself will consist of lectures, hands-on classes with software tools, instrument sessions the laboratory, and an excursion to the MPI-BGC field site in Gebesee.

2.  Registration

This workshop is offered to internal and external participants. Maximum size of participants is set to 20. The registration will open in spring 2019. It will be announced via mailing list.

3.  Preliminary agenda

3.1  Overview on major elements of the agenda

the theoretical background

  • fundamentals of boundary layer turbulence
  • major assumptions/simplifications behind the eddy-covariance technique (specifics of different measurement environments, e.g. forests, grassland, wetlands)


  • major types of instruments, incl. preferred areas of application
  • guidelines for installation and maintenance
  • design of a customized instrumentation setup for specific environments
  • • hands-on session for setting up eddy-covariance instruments

the basics on high-frequency data processing

  • introduction into selected software packages
  • standard processing steps from raw time series to fluxes
  • correction procedures (frequency, density, etc.)
  • quality assessment/quality control

post processing of eddy covariance flux data

  • gap-filling
  • net flux decomposition into GPP and ER
  • flux data interpretation
  • handling of 'tricky' datasets


  • destination: Wetzstein observation site (~90min drive from Jena)
  • timeframe: afternoon excursion (~6hrs), scheduled for workshop day #4
  • excursion will include lunch at a restaurant close to the observation site

3.2  Draft of the detailed workshop schedule

The detailed workshop schedule will be announced soon
Each of the following blocks can take between a half and a full day, with the detailed agenda to be determined in the weeks preceding the workshop. For computer lab exercises, participants will need to bring their own laptops, or specifically request the provision of computers through MPI-BGC (depends on availability). Hands-on experience on eddy-covariance instrumentation will be provided mainly in the laboratory, with optional additional setups of eddy systems in the field near the institute. An excursion to a nearby eddy-covariance site co-supervised by MPI-BGC is considered, with the final decision depending on logistics and time constraints.

Block 1: theory of micrometeorology

  • atmospheric scales
  • atmospheric boundary layer
  • atmospheric turbulence: definition, motion (Navier-Stokes equation), energy cascade, turbulence spectrum
  • specification of turbulence: near-surface roughness and zero-plane displacement, high vegetation, footprint
  • experimental methods to measure turbulence: profile, eddy-covariance, accumulation, flux-variance

Block 2: theory of eddy-covariance

  • fluxes and their characteristics
  • basic assumptions
  • correction methods
  • quality assurance
  • general overview on instruments and measurement systems

Block 3: instrumentation

  • types of sonic anemometers: advantages/disadvantages, areas of application
  • types of gas analyzers
  • customizing a flux station for specific environments, research areas
  • hands-on work in the lab, setting up different sonics/gas analyzers

Block 4: EC data processing I: basic raw data handling

  • overview on programs to process eddy-data: EddySoft, TK, EddyPro, (EddyUH)
  • detailed instruction into using selected software tools.
  • hands-on work with the software tool(s), based on ‘easy-to-use’ data examples, from raw data to final fluxes
  • conduct sensitivity studies towards selected software settings

Block 5: EC data processing II: troubleshooting

  • work with ‘tricky’ datasets, i.e. data examples that need special treatment.
  • introduction of additional tools, or ways to analyze/screen data, that can help with troubleshooting, e.g.
    • plotting of spectra
    • analysis of lag times
    • extended quality assessment protocols

Block 6: EC flux post processing

  • additional tools that are regularly used in the context of eddy-covariance flux data interpretation
    • gap-filling routines
    • flux partitioning techniques
    • footprint analyses
    • decomposition of time series into spectral domains
  • basics of databasing
    • basic rules for uploading own data into databases
    • regulations for using data provided by one of the common databases

optional: Block 7: ‘dirty’ eddy covariance

  • eddy covariance with ‘less than ideal’ instrumentation, such as
    • (virtual) disjunct eddy covariance
    • Relaxed eddy accumulation
    • ‘slower’ instruments, e.g. for chemical species where fast-response analyzers are not available

4.  Participants

Researchers who have already registered

This page was last modified on November 19, 2018, at 03:39 PM

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