ECO2S software

Eddy Covariance Community Software

The Eddy Covariance Community software (ECO2S) is free and open-source software, released under the GNU-GPL license v.3. The ECO2S project started in 2006 from the recognition that the micro-meteorologist community involved in Eddy Covariance (EC) flux measurements was mature enough to put together the experiences gained in the eddy covariance data processing but also far from reaching a satisfying agreement on a unique processing scheme of EC raw data to calculate fluxes. Indeed, derivation of CO2, H2O and energy fluxes starting from raw wind, temperature and gas concentration data by means of the EC technique implies a remarkably long sequence of operations including calibrations, corrections and statistical tests for assessing data quality. However the correct application, order, meaning and even the necessity of several processing steps are still topics under discussion. As a result EC processing software available to the community features different implementations: some operations are not supported by some packages, while others are implemented in different ways even when they reflect the same conceptual assumptions. In addition, many research groups use custom software that may include further corrections suggested by recent findings. However, different data treatments may affect the consistency and inter-comparability of flux data produced by different groups. Furthermore, recently the number of EC stations all over the world is dramatically increased and is thought to increase more in the next few years. As a consequence, nowadays many EC stations are managed by ecology scientists or by technicians rather than by expert micro-meteorologists. Thus the potential lack of expertise of those in charge of providing flux data may further increase spatial and temporal inconsistencies of carbon databases.

A free and open-source software

The ECO2S project started as initiative of the University of Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy) in the context of the IMECC-EU project with the aims of providing the EC community with a complete, free, open-source tool, developed by the community itself, to process data in a uniform fashion and giving the community the possibility to re-process old datasets, to account for recent findings and refinements to the methods. The main advantages of having a free and open-source software are:

  • an open-source EC software can become a platform on which new solutions can be implemented and compared against previous alternatives, while assuring a stable, shared and agreed playground;

  • new developments around EC, also beyond standard processing, can be easily, quickly and effectively made available to the community without a need for developing a new user environment each time;

  • the possibility to access the source code can make any user confident on how data are actually processed and how results are obtained;

  • many different raw data file types exist in the community. To reprocess them in a uniform and standardized fashion they all need to be importable in the same software. This is a demanding task on itself, but may be easily afforded by using an open-source platform with the short-term contribution of a number of developers;

ECO2S characteristics and validation

The table present a summary of the corrections implemented in the software. The GUI will help to find the different options available and parameterizations. ECO2S has been validated in the context of IMECC-EU using a pair intercomparison involving six eddy covariance software. ECO2S has been changed to mimic each of these software and the results used to evaluate the correct implementation of the different corrections and processing options. A report with the results of this validation activity is available here: download the report.
Additional and more detailed information about the software characteristics are available in the Getting Started Guide available here: download the guide. This guide is still not complete and if you have specific questions you can ask to us at the address


ECO2S download

The software is free and open source. To get it you have to fill these three filed here below, providing a valid email address where you will receive in few minutes the links to download the software (installer and source codes). This simple registration is needed to get an overview of the number and institutions of software users and also to contact you in case of bugs or new versions available. Please read carefully the license.

IMPORTANT: a new version 1.6.5 is available from April 11, 2011. In this version a bug affecting fluxes calucaltion using LI7500 has been solved.

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