Eddy Covariance Workshop

1.  General information

1.1  Timeframe

May 18 – 22, 2015

This workshop will cover 5 days, split up into a scientific seminar (1 day) at the beginning, followed by the eddy-covariance course (4 days) focusing on theory, instrumentation and data processing skills. During the seminar section, the participants (PhD reserachers and instructors) will present major research objectives from their sites, and latest results from their own research. 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 at the Wetzstein.


1.2  Target group

This workshop is offered to external collaborators from national and international observation sites where MPI-BGC is actively involved in the conducted research. The workshop will also be open to interested PhD researchers within the MPI-BGC graduate program, IMPRG-gBGC. Maximum size of participants is set to 20.


2.  Technical information

2.1  Location

The workshop will take place in and around the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry
Street Address:

Hans-Knoell-Strasse 10
07745 Jena



3.  Registration

Workshop participation will be free for members of the target group as outlined above. Participants will have to cover their own expenses for travel and accommodation. MPI-BGC will offer assistance for travel arrangement (national) and finding accommodation in Jena. The institute may furthermore be in a position to offer reasonable accommodation in-house or at an associated institute, depending on availability.
Please register here by May 01, 2015.

3.1  Organization committee

For further information please contact one or (preferred) all of the persons given below:
Mathias Goeckede
Fanny Kittler
Olaf Kolle
Mirco Migliavacca


4.  Scientific seminar

The scientific seminar at the beginning of the workshop week will provide the opportunity for all participants to present the specific research conducted at their sites and within their groups, respectively, and summarize the major research objectives they are targeting. This first day of scientific discussion will allow participants to discuss their scientific background as well as the skill level in terms of eddy-covariance before the workshop actually starts.
Besides the contributions from external/international participants, the seminar will also provide a general overview on research activities at MPI-BGC, and more specifically the experimental and observational eddy-covariance work currently conducted at the institute. Participating students are also asked to provide a brief overview on their research projects. The seminar will be concluded by a plenary discussion that will focus on identifying overlapping research interests and potential synergy effects between groups/sites.


5.  Agenda elements of the eddy-covariance workshop

5.1  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

5.2  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

6.  Feedback

10 out of 15 participants filled in the survey by July 3, 20145 Thanks a lot for participating in this survey! Your feedback is valuable because it helps the instructors and organizers to improve the individual modules and the general structure of the workshop.
The survey results are available here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.

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