Atmospheric Toolbox

Unable to read selected S5P L2 HCHO files

I hope somebody out there is able to help.

I am trying to use HARP to read S5P L2 HCHO files but the software is crashing on certain files. An example file can be downloaded here:

The code, and error message are below:

import harp

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “”, line 1, in
File “/Users/ianashpole/anaconda2/envs/harp_test/lib/python3.7/site-packages/harp/”, line 1134, in import_product
raise CLibraryError()
harp._harppy.CLibraryError: [HDF5] H5Z_filter_deflate(): inflate() failed (major=“Data filters”, minor=“Unable to initialize object”) (H5Zdeflate.c:123)

The above error only occurs with certain files, however. Some files of the same format can be read without a problem:

<Product variables=odict_keys([‘scan_subindex’, ‘datetime_start’, ‘datetime_length’, ‘orbit_index’, ‘validity’, ‘latitude’, ‘longitude’, ‘latitude_bounds’, ‘longitude_bounds’, ‘sensor_latitude’, ‘sensor_longitude’, ‘sensor_altitude’, ‘solar_zenith_angle’, ‘solar_azimuth_angle’, ‘sensor_zenith_angle’, ‘sensor_azimuth_angle’, ‘pressure’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_uncertainty_random’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_uncertainty_systematic’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_validity’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_avk’, ‘HCHO_volume_mixing_ratio_dry_air_apriori’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_amf’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_amf_uncertainty_random’, ‘tropospheric_HCHO_column_number_density_amf_uncertainty_systematic’, ‘HCHO_slant_column_number_density’, ‘HCHO_slant_column_number_density_uncertainty’, ‘absorbing_aerosol_index’, ‘cloud_albedo’, ‘cloud_albedo_uncertainty’, ‘cloud_fraction’, ‘cloud_fraction_uncertainty’, ‘cloud_altitude’, ‘cloud_altitude_uncertainty’, ‘cloud_pressure’, ‘cloud_pressure_uncertainty’, ‘surface_albedo’, ‘surface_altitude’, ‘surface_altitude_uncertainty’, ‘surface_pressure’, ‘index’])>

An example ‘good’ file can be downloaded here:

Both of these files were downloaded from the Sentinel-5P Pre-Operations Data Hub ( on 13 Nov 2019.

I am working on a MacBook Pro (OX 10.13.6), and running python 3.7.3 in a clean anaconda environment that I installed HARP (and it’s dependencies) in, as instructed here:

I’ve tried the classic uninstall/reinstall harp, restart machine etc but the problem keeps arising. I can also confirm that the python package netCDF4 also has issues with the first file:

import netCDF4

(1, 3245, 450)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File “”, line 1, in
File “netCDF4/_netCDF4.pyx”, line 3695, in netCDF4._netCDF4.Variable.getitem (netCDF4/_netCDF4.c:37910)
File “netCDF4/_netCDF4.pyx”, line 4376, in netCDF4._netCDF4.Variable._get (netCDF4/_netCDF4.c:47130)
RuntimeError: NetCDF: HDF error

As with HARP, netCDF4 can read the second file without an issue. Is anyone able to help me get data from this file (and others that have the same issue)?!

Thanks and all the best,

Try downloading the product again. Maybe something went wrong during transfer.

I just downloaded again from the s5phub and it has an md5sum of 8b911665044e40f1af7cbef935dab509.
The file that you provided has an md5sum of 431a0e2bce80d0a53aee13006118e7ef. So they are different.

1 Like

Thanks very much for the quick reply, @svniemeijer - downloading again seems to have done the trick! Strange that some of the files got corrupted while downloading and others didn’t. I’ll re-download all of the problem files and hopefully this will be the last you hear from me :slight_smile:
Thanks for your effort in addressing my problem.
All the best,