An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Air Emissions Modeling

Biogenic Emissions Landuse Database, Version 3 (BELD3)

BELD3 data provides distributions of 230 vegetation classes at 1-km resolution over most of North America. These data are used by the BEIS3 software to compute biogenic emissions. The BELD3 landuse data are for a specific 1-km grid; therefore, to use these data for input to BEIS3 on a different grid (e.g., a 12-km modeling grid), you must use the software provided to convert from the BELD3 grid to a different grid.
This web page provides a link to the grid conversion software and all of the input files needed. Take the following steps using the links in the table below.
  1. Download the shapefile containing the shapes of the 24 tiles ( This is an input file for the "Overlay" mode of the beld3smk program, which determines which beld3 tiles intersect your modeling grid.
  2. Download the 3 binary (NetCDF) files that describe the BELD3 land use files (
  3. Download the binary files of land use data for the tiles. If you already know which tiles you will need (either from inspecting the image of the BELD3 tiles below or from using the "Overlay" mode of the beld3smk program), you need only to download those tiles that are needed for your modeling grid (named, where X is the number of the tile). To download all tiles use the beld3_all_tiles_and_inputs.tar.gz file.
  4. Run the “beld3smk” program to convert the grid. Follow the directions for the beld3smk program at: Creating Inputs to SMOKE Biogenic Processing Exit