The fractional land cover estimates from the Boreal–Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset (BAWLD), 2021, Circum-Arctic

Olefeldt, David ; Hovemyr, Mikael; Kuhn, McKenzie A.; Bastviken, David; Bohn, Theodore J.; Connolly, John; Crill, Patrick; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Finkelstein, Sarah A.; Genet, Hélène; Grosse, Guido; Harris, Lorna I.; Heffernan, Liam; Helbig, Manuel; Hugelius, Gustaf; Hutchins, Ryan; Juutinen, Sari; Lara, Mark J.; Malhotra, Avni; Manies, Kristen; McGuire, A. David; Natali, Susan M.; O’Donnell, Jonathan A.; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Räsänen, Aleksi; Schädel, Christina; Sonnentag, Oliver; Strack, Maria; Tank, Suzanne E.; Treat, Claire; Varner, Ruth K.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Warren, Rebecca K.; D. Watts, Jennifer

The Boreal and Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset (BAWLD) provides estimates of fractional land cover of 19 land cover classes within 0.5° ×0.5° grid cells. The total area of the BAWLD domain is 25 500 000 kilometers squared (km²), i.e. 17% of the global land surface. The domain includes the boreal and tundra biomes, as well as areas of rocks and glaciers at greater than 50° North (N). The dataset is comprised of 23,469 0.5° ×0.5° grid cells. Each grid cell includes information on the fractional cover of five wetland classes, seven lake classes, three river classes, along with glacier, rockland, tundra, and boreal forest classes. Estimates of land cover fractional extents are based on an expert assessment, and a subsequent extrapolation to the full study region using random forest analysis. The dataset also includes an assessment of the uncertainty of the fractional cover estimates, represented by the 95% high and low estimates for fractional land cover. Each grid cell is further classified as one of fifteen “wetscapes”, which are defined by a characteristic land cover composition.


In order to use these data, you must cite this data set with the following citation:

David Olefeldt, Mikael Hovemyr, McKenzie Kuhn, David Bastviken, Theodore Bohn, et al. 2021. The fractional land cover estimates from the Boreal-Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset (BAWLD), 2021. Arctic Data Center. doi:10.18739/A2C824F9X.


Olefeldt, David

Metadata Access

DCAT in RDF/XML-Format

DCAT in Turtle-Format

DCAT in JSON-LD-Format

APGC Dataset Metadata in JSON-Format

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier DOI:10.18739/A2C824F9X
Institute University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Publication Date 2021-11-05
Version 1.0
Product Boreal-Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset (BAWLD)
Sensor expert assessment, extrapolated using random forest modelling
  1. Metadata EML v2.2.0 file
  2. BAWLD_V1 kml file
  3. BAWLD_V1 Shapefile
  4. BAWLD_V1 Data Info PDF
  5. BAWLD_V1 complete ZIP
Variables [Units]
  1. Cell_ID: Unique cell ID.
  2. Lat: Latitude of centre point of grid cell (decimal degrees). In cases where grid cells have been intersected (coast or ecoregion), the center point still indicates the centre of the grid cell prior to intersection.
  3. Long: Latitude of centre point of grid cell (decimal degrees). In cases where grid cells have been intersected (coast or ecoregion), the center point still indicates the centre of the grid cell prior to intersection.
  4. Area_Pct: The percent of a grid cell that is included in the BAWLD database after intersection with coast and ecoregions [%]
  5. Shp_Area: Area of grid cell (after intersection, where applicable) [m²]
  6. GLA: Percent cover of glaciers and permanent snow within grid cell [%]
  7. ROC: Percent cover of rocklands within grid cell [%]
  8. TUN: Percent cover of dry tundra within grid cell [%]
  9. BOR: Percent cover of boreal forest within grid cell [%]
  10. WET: Percent cover of wetlands within grid cell [%]. Wetlands include the five wetland sub-classes, permafrost bogs, wet tundra, marsh, bog, and fen.
  11. PEB: Percent cover of permafrost bogs within grid cell [%]
  12. WTU: Percent cover of tundra wetland within grid cell [%]
  13. MAR: Percent cover of marsh within grid cell [%]
  14. BOG: Percent cover of bog within grid cell [%]
  15. FEN: Percent cover of fen within grid cell [%]
  16. LAK: Percent cover of lakes within grid cell [%]. Lakes include the seven lake sub-classes; large lakes(>10 km2), mid-size peatland, yedoma, and glacial lakes (between 10 and 0.1 km²), and small peatland, yedoma, and glacial lakes (<0.1 km²).
  17. MPL: Percent cover of mid-sized peatland lakes within grid cell [%]
  18. MYL: Percent cover of mid-sized yedoma lakes within grid cell [%]
  19. MGL: Percent cover of mid-sized glacial lakes within grid cell [%]
  20. SPL: Percent cover of small peatland lakes within grid cell [%]
  21. SYL: Percent cover of small yedoma lakes within grid cell [%]
  22. SGL: Percent cover of small glacial lakes within grid cell [%]
  23. RIV: Percent cover of rivers within grid cell [%]. Rivers include three river sub-classes: large rivers (6th order or greater), and small organic-rich and organic-poor rivers (<6th order).
  24. LAR: Percent cover of large rivers within grid cell [%]
  25. SRR: Percent cover of small organic-rich rivers within grid cell [%]
  26. SRP: Percent cover of small organic-poor rivers within grid cell [%]
  27. The subsequent attributes provide the 95% confidence interval for the central estimates of land cover extents, indicated by the low estimate (xxx_L) and the high estimate (xxx_H).
  28. WETSCAPE: Each cell in BAWLD has been categorized into one of 15 wetscapes. The wetscapes were determined through a K-means clustering. The wetscape classification is indicated by numbers from 1 to 15: (1. Permafrost Peatlands, 2. Sparse Boreal Peatlands, 3. Rivers, 4. Glaciers, 5. Upland Tundra, 6. Common Boreal Peatlands, 7. Large Lakes, 8. Lake-rich wetlands, 9. Dominant Boreal Peatlands, 10. Wetland-rich Tundra, 11. Alpine and Tundra Barrens, 12. Wetland and Lake-rich Tundra, 13. Lake-rich Shield, 14. Upland Boreal, 15. Wetland and Lake-rich Yedoma Tundra)
Region Circum-Arctic
Spatial Reference ESRI:102017 WGS 84 / North Pole Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area
Spatial Resolution
Spatial Coverage Latitude 45.00 to 80.00, Longitude -180.00 to 180.00
Temporal Coverage
Temporal Resolution
Format Shapefile, KML
Is Supplement To

Olefeldt, D. , Hovemyr, M. , Kuhn, M. A. , Bastviken, D. , Bohn, T. J. , Connolly, J. , Crill, P. , Euskirchen, E. S. , Finkelstein, S. A. , Genet, H. , Grosse, G. , Harris, L. I. , Heffernan, L. , Helbig, M. , Hugelius, G. , Hutchins, R. , Juutinen, S. , Lara, M. J. , Malhotra, A. , Manies, K. , McGuire, A. D. , Natali, S. M. , O'Donnell, J. A. , Parmentier, F. J. W. , Räsänen, A. , Schädel, C. , Sonnentag, O. , Strack, M. , Tank, S. E. , Treat, C. , Varner, R. K. , Virtanen, T. , Warren, R. K. and Watts, J. D. (2021): The Boreal–Arctic Wetland and Lake Dataset (BAWLD) , Earth System Science Data, 13 (11), pp. 5127-5149 . doi: 10.5194/essd-13-5127-2021

Related to

Kuhn, M. A., Varner, R. K., Bastviken, D., Crill, P., MacIntyre, S., Turetsky, M., Walter Anthony, K., McGuire, A. D., and Olefeldt, D.: BAWLD-CH4: a comprehensive dataset of methane fluxes from boreal and arctic ecosystems, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 5151–5189,, 2021.

Dataset extent

Map tiles and data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.