October 1, 1993 to September 1, 2000
Project Location: 
Mississippi River Basin
Project Description: 

The recognition that water and energy budgets were not well understood on regional and global scales was a significant factor that led to the establishment of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) in 1987, under the auspices of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The GEWEX Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP) was the first of the GEWEX Continental-scale projects and was focused on the Mississippi River basin to take advantage of the existing meteorological and hydrological networks that were upgraded with new Doppler radars, wind profilers, and automatic weather stations together with an new satellite observations. The Mississippi River basin encompasses a wide range of climate, soil moisture conditions, vegetation types, and surface topography. The GCIP Science Plan identified the major phase of GCIP as the 5-year Enhanced Observing Period (EOP), targeted for 1995 to 2000, during which specialized data sets would be assembled for the GCIP database. GCIP organized this database into various “modules” (e.g. in-situ, model output, satellite remote sensing data, and special customized dataset archives).

The GCIP Data Management and Service System (DMSS) was distributed among four (4) Data Source Modules: (1) University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)’s Joint Office for Science Support (JOSS) for the In-Situ Data Source Module; (2) National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the Model Output Data Source Module; (3) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) for the Satellite Remote Sensing Data Source Module; and (4) Distributed Module for Special data sets with the producers of these special data sets maintaining and providing user services for these data.

A number of GCIP Initial Data Sets (GIDS) were prepared, starting in 1993, to provide the data services development and support during the buildup period before the 5-year EOP. Due to the size of the Mississippi River basin (3.2 x 106 km2), focused regional studies (or Enhanced Seasonal Observing Periods or ESOPs) were conducted during the EOP. The GCIP data sets were compiled for on-line access by investigators and many were also published on CD-ROM. A number of special data sets (for focused research studies), in addition to the EOP data sets, were compiled during the course of GCIP.