NETCDF is a data directory which contains examples of files that use the NETCDF format.

NETCDF (Network Common Data Form) is a set of software libraries and machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data.

NETCDF provides a program called ncdump which can be used to create a text version of the data, or to extract the header information. Since the data files are often enormous, it is usually the header information that is most useful, and this information has been extracted and provided separately for the example files given here.


The computer code and data files described and made available on this web page are distributed under the GNU LGPL license.

Related Data and Programs:

CDL, a data directory which contains examples of CDL files, a text version of NETCDF files created by the NCDUMP program;

GFD2, a dataset directory which contains geophysical data, stored in NETCDF format.

NETCDF, C programs which read and write NETCDF files.

NETCDF_GIS, a data directory which contains examples of GIS data stored as NETCDF files.

NETCDF_GLIMMER, a data directory which contains examples of GLIMMER data from Oak Ridge, stored as NETCDF files.

NETCDF_MPAS, a data directory which contains examples of MPAS grid data stored as NETCDF files.


  1. Russ Rew, Glenn Davis, Steve Emmerson, Harvey Davies, Ed Hartney, The NetCDF User's Guide,
    Unidata Program Center, March 2009.

Sample Files:

FOO is a tiny example with named dimensions "lat", "lon", "time", and variables "z", "t", "p", "rh", "lat", "lon", "time", variable attributes "units", "_FillValue", "valid_range", and some data;

HEXAHEXA_2X2X2 subdivides the unit cube into a 2x2x2 mesh of 8 subcubes or "hexahedra", using 27 vertices, and 24 boundary quadrilaterals.

PART defines a large 3D object including 28,694 vertices, 14,890 triangles, 150,779 tetrahedrons, 50 corners, 1905 edges and 1905 ridges.

PRES_TEMP_4D stores pressure and temperature as 4D arrays, at 2 times, 2 heights, 6 latitudes and 12 longitudes.

SFC_PRES_TEMP stores latitude, longitude, pressure and temperature on a 6 by 12 grid.

SIMPLE_XY stores a quantity "data" on a 6 by 12 XY mesh.

You can go up one level to the DATA page.

Last revised on 25 February 2011.