NetCDF Files
The data on this portal are available as NetCDF files that conform to the CF Metadata Conventions. NetCDF (Network Common Data Form) files are a self-describing, machine-independent format for storing numerical data. Details on the NetCDF file format can be found on the Unidata site. NetCDF files are binary files which means they can not be viewed in the standard applications that come with most operating systems (text editors, word processors or spreadsheet programs).
The NetCDF format was chosen because it allows data and metadata to be packaged into a single file. The OzFlux NetCDF files contain metadata about the site, the data owner and the data licence in the global attributes section of the NetCDF file. Metadata about the individual variables in the NetCDF files is contained in the variable attributes.
Utilities for accessing data in NetCDF files are available from the Utilities page.
OzFlux recommends that all NetCDF files stored on the OzFlux data portal conform to the following file naming convention:
<site name>_<year[quarter]>_<processing level>.nc
<site name> is the site name eg “HowardSprings”.
<year[quarter]> is the year of the data contained in the file with the option to specify a quarter eg “2011” for the full year of 2011 or “2011Q1” for the first quarter of 2011.
<processing level> is the level to which the data has been processed eg L1, L2, L3 or L4.
An example of a complete file name would be “” for the full year of 2011 or “” for the first quarter of 2011.
Only NetCDF files, that have had metadata extracted, will have the View Metadata button visible. Users will be able to view the global and variable attributes pertaining to the file.