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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Massachusetts Growing Degree Day and Precipitation Maps 2003

Related Publications


  • HF088-01: zip file contains Massachusetts growing degree day and precipitation maps (GIS)


  • Lead: Brian Hall
  • Investigators: Glenn Motzkin, Scott Ollinger
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 2003
  • End date: 2003
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Latitude: +41.3 to +42.9
  • Longitude: -73.5 to -69.9
  • Elevation:
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2003
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.88.17
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: historical
  • Research topic: historical and retrospective studies; regional studies
  • LTER core area: disturbance
  • Keywords: air temperature, climate, geographic information systems, precipitation, region
  • Abstract:

    A regression model that estimates monthly temperature and precipitation as a function of latitude, longitude, and elevation for the New England area was used to estimate annual growing degree days and precipitation for the state of Massachusetts. For details of the regression model please see the published paper (Ollinger, S.V., Aber, J.D., Federer, C.A., Lovett, G.M., Ellis, J.M., 1995. Modeling Physical and Chemical Climate of the Northeastern United States for a Geographic Information System. US Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, Radnor, PA, USA).

  • Methods:

    The following description of methods is quoted from the published paper (Hall, B., Motzkin, G., Foster, D.R., Syfert, M., Burk, J., 2002. Three hundred years of forest and land-use change in Massachusetts, USA. Journal of Biogeography 29, 1319-1335):

    "A one arc-degree (1:250,000 scale) digital elevation model (DEM) was created by joining existing Geographic Information System (GIS) datalayer grids (USGS, 1993) in ArcView GIS (ESRI, 1996). The DEM was then projected to the Massachusetts State Plane, North American Datum 1983 coordinate system and re-sampled to a grid size of 230 meters in ArcInfo (ESRI, 1999). All subsequent grids had the same projection and grid size. In order to evaluate relationships between vegetation and climate, regression equations from Ollinger et al. (1995) were used to calculate annual precipitation and monthly average temperature based on elevation, latitude, and longitude for each grid cell of the DEM. Monthly average temperatures less than 0 deg C were changed to 0 deg C, and the average monthly temperature grids were then multiplied by the number of days in the month to calculate the number of Growing Degree Days (GDD) for each month; all twelve months were then summed into a grid of annual GDD. Although climate may have changed in the 350 years since European settlement, we assume that climatic gradients across the study area are likely to have remained relatively consistent, and all analyses are conducted with modern climate data."

    The data file contains the following ArcView grids: (1) growdegree = modeled number of growing degree days per year. (2) precipitation = modeled annual precipitation in centimeters.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Hall B. 2003. Massachusetts Growing Degree Day and Precipitation Maps 2003. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF088 (v.17). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

HF088-01: zip file contains Massachusetts growing degree day and precipitation maps (GIS)

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: Esri shapefile
  • Type: vector GIS