GOAT (Geophysical Observation Analysis Tool)

Created by ori.adam on - Updated on 08/09/2016 11:27

GOAT (Geophysical Observation Analysis Tool)


GOAT archives all geophysical data in a consistent format, thereby reducing the need to bother with the esoteric details of the particular datasets.

GOAT icludes a GUI based interface for intuitive browsing, subsetting and display of data in all spatial and temporal projections.

The GUI also provides some advanced analysis features such as:

  • Calculation of climatology and anomalies
  • Spatial and temporal filters
  • Display differences between two fields
  • Display superposition of two fields
  • Include topography in display or analysis   
  • Code generation (similar to the 'Generate Code' option in MATLAB figures)

Data retrieval:

GOAT intgrates with OPeNDAP sources and NetCDF files via a process referred to as 'linking' (GOAT LINK Format). GOAT also integrates with *.mat file archived in a GOAT standard format (GOAT MAT Format). The GOAT GUI also enables converting linked OPeNDAP and NetCDF archives to MAT Format. Information on GOAT archiving formats can be found in the GOAT documentation. 

OPeNDAP sources (GOAT LINK Format):

LINK archives do not require much disk space (typically a few MB per archive). A full list of available OPeNDAP LINK archive can be found here. Examples of available OPeNDAP LINK archives are

  • MERRA (entire archive)
  • 20th Century Reanalysis (entire archive)
  • NCEP I and II (entire archives)
  • ERA-40 (partial archive)
  • ERA-Interim (entire archive. Uses a specially designed perl based protocol for communicating with the MARS server)
  • ORA-S4 ocean reanalysis. 

NetCDF files (GOAT LINK Format):

GOAT indludes functions for automatically linking NetCDF files following the CMIP5 standard. In particular, the GOAT_CMIP5_LINK function (which can also be launched from the GOAT GUI) automatically finds all CMIP5 files in a specified folder and creates LINK archives for these files.

This functionality can be further extended to other datasets as a growing number of observational datasets are now available in CMIP5 archiving standard via the obs4MIPs and ana4MIPs projects.

Conversion of datasets to *.mat files (GOAT MAT Format)

GOAT includes a GUI based data download tool for automatically downloading and converting datasets to GOAT MAT Format (*.mat files).

Information on available datasets for download can be found here

The following datasets are available via the GUI based tool:



  • CloudsatCalipso (a combination of Cloudsat and Calipso by Jennifer. E. Kay)



The NCAR Research Data Archive serves numerous reanalysis datasets, many of which should have the land-sea mask stored in their 'constant' or 'fixed' fields. Usually it's stored as a grib record. Go to http://rda.ucar.edu/, and go to 'Atmospheric Reanalysis Data' under the header 'Other ways to explore'. Each reanalysis dataset has the e-mail contact listed for the data specialist who manages the dataset. Please e-mail the specialist if you are unable to find the land mask data.


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 12:13

Does GOAT already include or will it include access to the 20CR OPeNDAP enabled every-member data in netCDF4 format at in the analysis, analysis.derived, first_guess, and first_guess.derived directories? subdaily, daily-averaged, and monthly-averaged every member fields are available there. best wishes, gil

Not at present.

In a few weeks a new version of GOAT will be released which includes OPeNDAP access to the entire MERRA archive, and other reanalyses with OPeNDAP access.
20CR is one of the reanalyses on the list.
It will also be possible to link GOAT to the native *.nc files of an existing (i.e. not via OPeNDAP) CMIP5 archive.

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