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The following naming guidelines have been developed to harmonize the data collection, data storage at the different ecosystem monitoring sites run by the GL Group as well as to simplify further post-processing and sharing of datasets in the future. The primary site where this should be implemented first is CH-DAV – ICOS Class 1 Site and at the other GL EC Sites.

Developed by

  • Thomas Baur
  • Lukas Hörtnagl
  • Philip Meier
  • Lutz Merbold

With Contributions From

  • Nina Buchmann
  • Werner Eugster
  • Carmen Emmel
  • Kathrin Fuchs
  • Patrick Koller
  • Florian Käslin

Based on

The original approach was to use the GHG-Europe Standard using a 3-figure code, which identifies univocally the location within the site. According to this standard, the name of the variable is indicated as


x1…position of the sensor on a 2D space
x2…approx. vertical height above the ground / depth of soil (e.g. 80 cm would be written as 1 m)
x3…replicated measurements in the same location

e.g. Ta_1_1_1 is air temperature (Ta) at location 1 (x1) at a height of 1 m (x2). Because it is the only sensor at this location and at this height, the last number x3 is also 1. A second Ta sensor at the same height would be named Ta_1_1_2. However, this convention would make the use of a complementary list explaining all variable positions mandatory at all times.

We stick to the general format, with the exception that we allow letters for x1 and x3 and that our height gives the exact height (e.g. x2: 80 cm would be 0.8).