Australia’s Environment Explorer: data description and download

National-scale, comprehensive information on the condition and trajectory of our environment.

 

Disclaimer

Australia’s Environment Explorer is made possible through open data sharing by CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, TERN AusCover, ECMWF, NASA and Google. The material provided through this website is experimental and derived through active research. The Australian National University does not have a legislated role in providing authoritative information. All information is made available on the understanding that it does not constitute professional advice. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. Links to other websites do not constitute an endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Data access and format

All gridded data can be accessed and downloaded via NCI’s THREDDS service in NetCDF4 format. If you are familiar with these then you can directly access our data catalogue. You can find annual files with data at the highest temporal and spatial time step available. To access the gridded annual maps you can also follow the Direct Download Links below. If you are not familiar with the NCI THREDDS you can find a good description here. Various software packages have native or external utilities to read NetCDF format, including QGIS, ArcGIS (instructions here), Matlab, Python, and ENVI/IDL. You can find a partial (if somewhat dated) list of processing and viewing software here.

Available data

Name

Tree cover

Description Determined as the percent area classified as forest mapped from Landsat satellite imagery following the National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS) classification. Extended for recent years using a machine learning algorithm by ANU Water and Landscape Dynamics.
Data creator Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU, link).
Reference
  • Furby, S., 2002. Land cover change: specification for remote sensing analysis. National Carbon Accounting System, Technical Report no. 9, Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra (link)
  • ANU machine learning algorithm not yet documented.
Resolution annual, 1/4000° (~25 m) binary classification and percent tree cover at 0.0025° (~250m)
Annual data annual mapping: direct download (link, ~500 MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms High and low resolution mapping for individual years via THREDDS (link)

 

Name

Land cover

Description Land cover classification from Geoscience Australia Dynamic Land Cover Data. Extended for recent years (2014 onwards) using a machine learning algorithm developed by ANU Water and Landscape Dynamics.
Data creator Geoscience Australia
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference
  • Lymburner, L., Tan, P., Mueller, N., Thackway, R., Thankappan, M., Islam, A., Lewis, A., Randall, L. & Senarath, U., 2011. The National Dynamic Land Cover Dataset – Technical report. Record 2011/031. Geoscience Australia, Canberra (link)
  • ANU machine learning algorithm not yet documented.
Resolution annual, 0.0026° (~260 m)
Annual data annual mapping: direct download (link, ~400 MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Original bi-annual land cover data can be downloaded from Geoscience Australia (link)

 

Name

Inundation

Description Percent of area (%) covered by water at least once during the year as mapped from MODIS satellite observations using the Open Water Likelihood algorithm.
Data creator CSIRO Land and Water, Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Guerschman J.P., Warren G., Byrne, G., Lymburner, L., Mueller, N., Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., 2011. MODIS-based standing water detection for flood and large reservoir mapping: algorithm development and applications for the Australian continent. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship Report, Canberra (link)
Resolution 8 days, 0.005° (~500m)
Annual data annual maxima: direct download (link, ~100 MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, means and maxima as well as time series for individual years via THREDDS (link) . Also available resampled to 0.05° (~5 km) resolution (link)

 

Name

Fire intensity

Description Annual maximum fire intensity (°C) mapped at 2.5 km resolution as derived from the Geoscience Australia Sentinel system
Data creator Geoscience Australia, Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Geoscience Australia, 2014. Sentinel Hotspots Product Description Document V1.2, code D2014-145826, Geocat Reference 70869 (link)
Resolution daily, 0.025° (~2.5km)
Annual data Annual maxima at 2.5 km:  direct download (link, ~2MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Time series for individual years via THREDDS (link)

 

Name

Fire occurrence

Description Annual number of fires frequency mapped at 2.5 km resolution as derived from the Geoscience Australia Sentinel system
Data creator Geoscience Australia, Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Geoscience Australia, 2014. Sentinel Hotspots Product Description Document V1.2, code D2014-145826, Geocat Reference 70869 (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.025° (~2.5km)
Annual data Annual sums at 2.5 km: direct download (start, ~2MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Time series for individual years via THREDDS (link)

 

Name

Exposed soil

Description Annual mean percentage of soil that is unprotected by living vegetation or litter. Derived from a fractional cover algorithm that exploits MODIS satellite imagery to estimate fractions of photosynthetic vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and exposed soil.
Data creator CSIRO Land and Water
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Guerschman, JP, Scarth, PF, McVicar, TR, Renzullo, LJ, Malthus, TJ, Stewart, JB, Rickards, JE, Trevithick, R. (2015). Assessing the effects of site heterogeneity and soil properties when unmixing photosynthetic vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and bare soil fractions from Landsat and MODIS data. Remote Sensing of Environment 161:12–26 (link)
Resolution 8 days, 0.0025° (~250m)
Annual data Annual means: direct download (start, ~300 MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and means as well as time series for individual years via THREDDS (link). Same also available for photosynthesising (PV) and non-photosynthesising (NPV) vegetation cover fractions (link).

 

Name

Vegetation leaf area

Description Annual mean leaf area index (LAI) defined as area of leaf per area of ground (m2/m2) as derived from MODIS satellite imagery.
Data creator NASA, TERN AusCover
Data license Free access, citation requested (link)
Reference Yang, W., Huang, D., Tan, B., Stroeve, J.C., Shabanov, N.V., Knyazikhin, Y., Nemani, R.R., & Myneni, R.B., 2006. Analysis of leaf area index and fraction of PAR absorbed by vegetation products from the Terra MODIS sensor: 2000-2005. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on, 44, 1829-1842 (link)
Resolution 8 days, 0.01° (~1 km)
Annual data Annual averages: direct download (start, ~400MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Available as annual maxima, minima and means, as well as time series for individual years via THREDDS (link).

 

Name

Fire carbon emissions

Description Annual emission of carbon from wildfire estimated the Global Fire Assimilation System v1.2
Data creator European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Data license Free by attribution (link)
Reference Kaiser, J.W., Heil, A., Andreae, M.O., Benedetti, A., Chubarova, N., Jones, L., Morcrette, J.J., Razinger, M., Schultz, M.G., Suttie, M., & van der Werf, G.R., 2012. Biomass burning emissions estimated with a global fire assimilation system based on observed fire radiative power. Biogeosciences, 9, 527-554 (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.1° (~10 km)
Annual data Annual sums: direct download (start, ~2MB) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Available as time series for individual years via THREDDS (link)

 

Name

Precipitation

Description Estimates of daily precipitation (Pg in mm) derived by merging of Bureau of Meteorology gridded daily rainfall and satellite rainfall estimates derived from the TRMM-TMPA product (before 2016) and the GPM product (after 2017)
Data creator Bureau of Meteorology, Australian National University, CSIRO Land and Water
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Forthcoming, but based on:

  • Jones, D., Wang, W., & Fawcett, R. (2009). High-quality spatial climate data-sets for Australia. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal, 58, 233-248. (link)
  • Chappell, A., Renzullo, L. J., Raupach, T. H., & Haylock, M. (2013). Evaluating geostatistical methods of blending satellite and gauge data to estimate near real-time daily rainfall for Australia. Journal of Hydrology, 493, 105-114.  (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.05° (~5 km)
Annual data Annual sums:  direct download (start) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and time series for individual years via THREDDS (link, look for .Pg. in filename)

 

Name

Soil moisture

Description Total soil water storage (Ssoil in mm) predicted by the OzWALD model-data fusion system, which assimilates a variety of satellite observations into a version of the AWRA-L water balance model.
Data creator Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Forthcoming, but based on: Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., 2010. AWRA Technical Report 3. Landscape Model (version 0.5) Technical Description. In. Canberra: WIRADA / CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.05° (~5 km)
Annual data Annual sums:  direct download (start) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and time series for individual years via THREDDS (to data, look for .Ssoil. in filename)

 

Name

Runoff

Description Spatial runoff generation (Qtot in mm)  predicted by the OzWALD model-data fusion system, which assimilates a variety of satellite observations into a version of the AWRA-L water balance model.
Data creator Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Forthcoming, but based on:Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., 2010. AWRA Technical Report 3. Landscape Model (version 0.5) Technical Description. In. Canberra: WIRADA / CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.05° (~5 km)
Annual data Annual sums:  direct download (link) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and time series (in mm/d) for individual years via THREDDS (to data), look for .Qtot. in filename)

 

Name

River flow

Description Routed river flow (Qriv in ML)  predicted by the OzWALD model-data fusion system, which assimilates a variety of satellite observations into a version of the AWRA-L water balance model.
Data creator Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Forthcoming, but based on: Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., 2010. AWRA Technical Report 3. Landscape Model (version 0.5) Technical Description. In. Canberra: WIRADA / CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.05° (~5 km)
Annual data Annual sums:  direct download (start) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and time series (in ML/d) for individual years via THREDDS (link), look for .Qriv. in filename)

 

Name

Vegetation carbon uptake

Description Vegetation carbon uptake or gross primary production (GPP in gC/m2)  predicted by the OzWALD model-data fusion system, which assimilates a variety of satellite observations into a version of the AWRA-L water balance model.
Data creator  Australian National University
Data license Creative Commons by Attribution (CC BY 3.0 AU – link).
Reference Forthcoming, but based on:

  • Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., 2010. AWRA Technical Report 3. Landscape Model (version 0.5) Technical Description. In. Canberra: WIRADA / CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship (link)
  • Yebra, M., Van Dijk, A.I.J.M., Leuning, R., Guerschman, J.P., 2015. Global vegetation gross primary production estimation using satellite-derived light-use efficiency and canopy conductance. Remote Sensing of Environment, 163, 206-216 (link)
Resolution Daily, 0.05° (~5 km)
Annual data Annual sums:  direct download (start) or via THREDDS (link). File contains all years in the record.
Other data forms Annual minima, maxima and time series (in umol m-2 s-1) for individual years via THREDDS (link), look for .GPP. in filename)