A methodology for implementing a digital twin of the earth’s forests to match the requirements of different user groups

Matti Mõttus (Corresponding Author), Matthias Dees, Heikki Astola, Stanisław Dałek, Eelis Halme, Tuomas Häme, Monika Krzyżanowska, Annikki Mäkelä, Gheorghe Marin, Francesco Minunno, Gero Pawlowski, Juho Penttilä, Jussi Rasinmäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Europe has acknowledged the need to develop a very high precision digital model of the Earth, a Digital Twin Earth, running on cloud infrastructure to bring data and end-users closer together. We present results of an investigation of a proposed submodel of the digital twin, simulating the worlds’ forests. We focus on the architecture of the system and the key user needs on data content and access. The results are based on a user survey showing that the forest-related communities in Europe require information on contrasting forest variables and processes, with common interest in the status and forecast of forest carbon stock. We discuss the required spatial resolution, accuracies, and modelling tools required to match the needs of the different communities in data availability and simulation of the forest ecosystem. This, together with the knowledge on existing and projected future capabilities, allows us to specify a data architecture to implement the proposed system regionally, with the outlook to expand to continental and global scales. Ultimately, a system simulating the behaviour of forests, a digital twin, would connect the bottom-up and top-down approaches of computing the forest carbon balance: from tree-based accounting of forest growth to atmospheric measurements, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event12th International Symposium on Digital Earth: Digital Earth for Sustainable Societies, ISDE12 - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 6 Jul 20218 Jul 2021


  • Carbon
  • Digital Twin Earth
  • Forest
  • Modelling


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