Quality Control and Flux Sampling Problems for Tower and Aircraft Data

Dean Vickers College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

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L. Mahrt College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

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Abstract

A series of automated tests is developed for tower and aircraft time series to identify instrumentation problems, flux sampling problems, and physically plausible but unusual situations. The automated procedures serve as a safety net for quality controlling data. A number of special flags are developed representing a variety of potential problems such as inconsistencies between different tower levels and the flux error due to fluctuations of aircraft height.

The tests are implemented by specifying critical values for parameters representing each specific error. The critical values are developed empirically from experience of applying the tests to real turbulent time series. When these values are exceeded, the record is flagged for further inspection and comparison with the rest of the concurrent data. The inspection step is necessary to either verify an instrumentation problem or identify physically plausible behavior. The set of tests is applied to tower data from the Risø Air Sea Experiment and Microfronts95 and aircraft data from the Boreal Ecosystem–Atmosphere Study.

Corresponding author address: Dean Vickers, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Oceanography Admin. Bldg. 104, Corvallis, OR 97331.

Abstract

A series of automated tests is developed for tower and aircraft time series to identify instrumentation problems, flux sampling problems, and physically plausible but unusual situations. The automated procedures serve as a safety net for quality controlling data. A number of special flags are developed representing a variety of potential problems such as inconsistencies between different tower levels and the flux error due to fluctuations of aircraft height.

The tests are implemented by specifying critical values for parameters representing each specific error. The critical values are developed empirically from experience of applying the tests to real turbulent time series. When these values are exceeded, the record is flagged for further inspection and comparison with the rest of the concurrent data. The inspection step is necessary to either verify an instrumentation problem or identify physically plausible behavior. The set of tests is applied to tower data from the Risø Air Sea Experiment and Microfronts95 and aircraft data from the Boreal Ecosystem–Atmosphere Study.

Corresponding author address: Dean Vickers, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Oceanography Admin. Bldg. 104, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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