The South American land data assimilation system (SALDAS) 5-Yr retrospective atmospheric forcing datasets

Luis Gustavo G. de Goncalves, William J. Shuttleworth, Daniel Vila, Eliane Larroza, Marcus J. Bottino, Dirceu L. Herdies, Jose A. Aravequia, Joao G.Z. de Mattos, David L. Toll, Matthew Rodell, Paul Houser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The definition and derivation of a 5-yr, 0.125°, 3-hourly atmospheric forcing dataset that is appropriate for use in a Land Data Assimilation System operating across South America is described. Because surface observations are limited in this region, many of the variables were taken from the South American Regional Reanalysis; however, remotely sensed data were merged with surface observations to calculate the precipitation and downward short wave radiation fields. The quality of this dataset was evaluated against the surface observations available. There are regional differences in the biases for all variables in the dataset, with volumetric biases in precipitation of the order 0-1 mm day-1 and RMSE of 5-15 mm day-1, biases in surface solar radiation of the order 10 W m-2 and RMSE of 20 W m-2, positive biases in temperature typically between 0 and 4 K depending on the region, and positive biases in specific humidity around 2-3 g kg-1 in tropical regions and negative biases around 1-2 g kg-1 farther south.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1010
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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