Netcdf data objects
On this page, we describe the use of the netcdf data object. This data object is not specific to particular wrappers, but can be used for many different netcdf files. Here, the format of the variables should match one of the examples below when reading observations, model results or even updating states or boundary conditions. The netcdf data object is very useful since many different model software packages use netcdf files for storing and reading data.
implementation of netcdf data objects can be found. It supports many
different variable formats like scalar and gridded data. The most important ones will be described here.
The simplest form of scalar data has two dimensions, one for time and one for location. This will create exchange items for each location in each variable. The corresponding id is a combination of the variable name with the location name, which can be any string. The exchange item will contain the data for all the time steps. As an example, we create the exchange items
by using the following variables
float waterlevel(time=3, stations=6); :standard_name = "water_surface_height_above_reference_datum detection_minimum"; :long_name = "waterlevel"; :units = "m"; :_FillValue = -9999.0f; // float :coordinates = "lat lon"; :cell_methods = "time: maximum"; data: station_id = "26", "27", "28", "24", "29", "25"
with corresponding XML config:
<dataObject className="org.openda.exchange.dataobjects.NetcdfDataObject"> <file>scalar.nc</file> <id>dataObjectId</id> <arg>true</arg> <arg>false</arg> </dataObject>
Gridded data variables are supported with three dimensions containing time, \(x\) and \(y\): in this case 1 exchange item will be created for the whole variable with the variable id as a name.
Example of a gridded variable:
double p(time=49, Y=16, X=27); :coordinates = "Time Y X"; :long_name = "Atmospheric Pressure"; :standard_name = "air_pressure"; :units = "Pa";
with corresponding XML config (almost the same as for simple scalar, except for the filename):
<dataObject className="org.openda.exchange.dataobjects.NetcdfDataObject"> <file>grid.nc</file> <id>dataObjectId</id> <arg>true</arg> <arg>false</arg> </dataObject>
In this section, we describe some extra arguments that can be used in the netcdf data object.
Boolean: Lazy reading and writing
The first two possible extra arguments are boolean values for lazy reading and lazy writing. When lazy reading is set to true, the data will only be read from the netcdf file when the data is needed instead of when initializing the data object. When lazy writing is set to true, the data will be written when the data object is closed instead of directly when the data is being changed by OpenDA. Depending on how much data will be read and/or written, how many times this will happen and the available memory, users can choose which settings will be most suitable.
These boolean arguments always have to be specified as the first 2
<arg> elements (lazy reading, lazy writing, respectively) in the XML config for the
NetcdfDataObject, see the example above.
To prevent a long list of arguments with a specific order,
key-value pair arguments have been introduced. Any number of
requiredExchangeItemId=<ID> arguments can be supplied which limits
the exchange items being created to the ones supplied. This can save a
lot of memory and performance for large netcdf files.
If we use the same variables
data as above, then
it is possible to limit the creation of exchange items by adding three extra
requiredExchangeItemId=27.waterlevel. This way only the specified
exchange items will be created.
The corresponding XML config looks as follows:
<dataObject className="org.openda.exchange.dataobjects.NetcdfDataObject"> <file>scalar.nc</file> <id>dataObjectId</id> <arg>true</arg> <arg>false</arg> <arg>requiredExchangeItemId=24.waterlevel</arg> <arg>requiredExchangeItemId=26.waterlevel</arg> <arg>requiredExchangeItemId=27.waterlevel</arg> </dataObject>
For scalar data that have multiple layers, a
layerDimensionName=<name> needs to be provided. The size of that
dimension will determine the amount of layer-specific exchange items
that will be created. When this argument is provided then the id of the
exchange items will be constructed as follows:
As an example, we take the next variables
double temperature(time=49, stations=3, laydim=20); :coordinates = "station_x_coordinate station_y_coordinate station_name zcoordinate_c"; :units = "degC"; :geometry = "station_geom"; :_FillValue = -999.0; // double :standard_name = "sea_water_temperature"; data: station_id = "station01", "station02", "station03"
This will result in 60 exchange items with ids like:
station0i.temperature.layerj, where i=1,2,3, j=0,…,19.
The corresponding XML config looks as follows:
<dataObject className="org.openda.exchange.dataobjects.NetcdfDataObject"> <file>scalarLayers.nc</file> <id>dataObjectId</id> <arg>true</arg> <arg>false</arg> <arg>layerDimensionName=laydim</arg> </dataObject>
allowTimeIndependentItems=true/false determines whether
time-independent exchange items should be created. Time-independent
exchange items can be created for variables that do not depend on a time
dimension. The default is false.