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NLDAS-2 Model Data Description/Information

Go directly to papers on validation of the NLDAS-2 models

NLDAS-2 Model Data Description/Information

This page describes the model data for Phase 2 of the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2).

The data are in 1/8th-degree grid spacing and range from 02 Jan 1979 to present. The temporal resolution is hourly. The file format is WMO GRIB-1.

There are currently four land-surface models with data available over the NLDAS-2 period. They are:

LSM Reference(s) Schematic
Mosaic Koster and Suarez (1992)
Koster and Suarez (1994)
Mosaic LSM schematic
Noah-2.8 Chen et al. (1996)
Koren et al. (1999)
Ek et al. (2003)
Mitchell et al. (2004)
Xia et al. (2012)
Noah LSM schematic
SAC Burnash et al. (1973)
Anderson (1973)
Koren et al. (2000)
Koren et al. (2004)
SAC LSM schematic
VIC-4.0.3 Liang et al. (1994)
Wood et al. (1997)
VIC LSM schematic

NLDAS-2 Mosaic, Noah, and VIC data are available at the NASA GES DISC. NLDAS-2 SAC data may also be added in the future.

NLDAS-2 Validation Information

*Tables below scroll to right

Soil moisture evaluation:

2014 Xia et al. J. Hydrology Evaluation of multi-model simulated soil moisture in NLDAS-2
2015 Xia et al. J. Hydrometeorology Comparison of NLDAS-2 simulated and NASMD observed daily soil moisture. Part I: Comparison and analysis
2015 Xia et al. J. Hydrometeorology Comparison of NLDAS-2 simulated and NASMD observed daily soil moisture. Part II: Impact of soil texture classification and vegetation type mismatches
2015 Xia et al. J. Appl. Meteor. and Climo. Automated quality control of in situ soil moisture from the North American Soil Moisture Database using NLDAS-2 products


Soil temperature evaluation: 

2013 Xia et al. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol. Validation of Noah-simulated soil temperature in NLDAS-2


Evapotranspiration evaluation: 

2020 Zhang et al. Agricult. and Forest Meteor. Evaluation and comparison of multiple evapotranspiration data models over the contiguous United States: Implications for the next phase of NLDAS (NLDAS-Testbed) development
2014 Xia et al. Hydrological Processes Evaluation of NLDAS-2 evapotranspiration against tower flux site observations
2014 Matsui and Mocko Chapter in Encyclopedia of Natural Resources - Land - Volume I Transpiration and physical evaporation: Regional and seasonal variability over the conterminous United States
2014 Long et al. Water Resources Research Uncertainty in evapotranspiration from land surface modeling, remote sensing, and GRACE satellites
2011 Peters-Lidard et al. Hydrological Processes Estimating evapotranspiration with land data assimilation systems


Runoff/streamflow evaluation: 

2012 Xia et al. J. Geophys. Res. Continental-scale water and energy flux analysis and validation for NLDAS-2. Part 2: Validation of model-simulated streamflow
2014 Kumar et al. J. Hydrometeorology - Drought Task Force special collection Assimilation of remotely sensed soil moisture and snow depth retrievals for drought estimation


Snow evaluation: 

2010 Livneh et al. J. Hydrometeorology Noah LSM snow model diagnostics and enhancements
2014 Xia et al. Hydrological Processes Improved NLDAS-2 Noah-simulated hydrometeorological products with an interim run