CREATE Aerosol Database at NILU

General info
Data formats
How to submit data
How to obtain data
Aerosol database
Useful links



Co-operation between WMO-GAW-WDCA (JRC) and EMEP (EMEP-CCC/NILU) on data flow related to aerosol measurements in Europe

The issue of how to establish data flow for the CREATE database ( Construction, use and delivery of a European aerosol database ) was discussed at the CREATE-DAEDALUS kick-off meeting as well as at the GAW Aerosol SAG meeting in Lille, 24-26. March 2003. Both EMEP and GAW aim at establishing monitoring of physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere and further making the data available for various users. At present there is limited overlap for aerosol measurements between the two networks, and both use different formats for data submission (EMEP-CCC (Chemical Coordinating Centre) uses NASA Ames 1001, while GAW-WDCA uses the NARSTO Data Exchange Standard (DES)). However, with the expansion of the EMEP measurement programme to include additional measurements of aerosol properties, including those made at the European GAW sites, and the beginning of CREATE, which should be compatible with both EMEP-CCC and GAW-WDCA, there will be considerable duplication of effort, if both databases operate continue to operate independently.

The following solutions were identified, which minimise the duplication of data flow and effort for both the data providers and database, while allowing EMEP/CCC and GAW/WDCA to fulfil their objectives;

  • In future, all GAW aerosol monitoring sites in Europe will be encouraged to contribute to EMEP, by becoming level 2 or level 3 sites according to the Draft EMEP monitoring strategy, and all other EMEP level 2 and level 3 sites will be encouraged to join GAW, giving enough joint EMEP-GAW sites to meet the objectives of both networks within Europe. The infrastructure for EMEP data flow will be used for data submission from both these sites and the basic EMEP level 1 sites. This means that data only need to be submitted to the EMEP-CCC using NASA-Ames 1001

EMEP-CCC will develop an additional export function to those already available from the database providing for the export of data in the NARSTO DES. As there are inevitably differences in the meta-data definitions between NASA Ames 1001 and the NARSTO DES, this function will be developed to give full compatibility with the NARSTO-DES, in close collaboration with GAW-WDCA.

  • The management and storage of the data will be organised differently for the different levels of EMEP sites as defined in the draft of the new EMEP measurement strategy ( All EMEP and EMEP-GAW sites will be included in Global Atmosphere Watch Information Systems (GAWSIS) and the WDCA data catalogues.
    • For the level 1 sites, (measuring inorganic compounds as well as PM10 mass concentration), the data will remain at EMEP-CCC and be pointed to, and/or dynamically linked, from WDCA-GAW and GAWSIS.
    • For the smaller number of level 2 and level 3 sites undertaking more comprehensive aerosol monitoring programmes as well as measuring parameters only required by GAW, (i.e. joint EMEP-GAW supersites) the data will be exported in the NARSTO DES and will be mirrored at the WDCA database at the JRC, as well as being available from EMEP-CCC.
    • In the case of Precision Filter Radiometer Measurements within the GAW network, where the existing data flow is from the sites to the World Optical Depth Research and Calibration Centre (WORCC) in Davos for QC, followed by submission of data from WORCC to WDCA using NARSTO DES, no change in the data flow is foreseen.

WDCA-GAW will check at least every 6 months that the datasets it holds remain consistent with those at EMEP-CCC. EMEP-CCC will in turn notify WDCA-GAW of any reanalyses of the data that have resulted in substantive changes to the data in the intervening period.

  • Both WDCA-GAW and EMEP-CCC will include proper acknowledgement of the data sources
  • Information about the EMEP data formats can be found at (see “data submission”), while information on the NARSTO data exchange standard can be found at
  • Routines for data validation and quality control will be developed by the WDCA, GAW- Aerosol SAG, GAW-WCCAP (World Calibration Centre for Aerosol Physics) and EMEP-CCC (partly through CREATE).