I'm trying to use ESA's Sentinel-5P data in QGIS.

As shown in the attachment, I tried to download a .nc file containing Sentinel-5 data from the Copernicus Open Access Hub, but when I imported this into QGIS it didn't align with my basemap.

QGIS says the layer has an "invalid projection" (but manually setting it to WGS 84 doesn't fix it). How can I make my downloaded Sentinel data line up with the rest of my map?

enter image description here

  • 2
    You must find out the original CRS that the date is saved in and then set this CRS manually as layer CRS. Can you share the data?
    – Babel
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 9:39
  • Thanks for the reply. This is the precise .nc file I was using. I'm currently trying to figure out exactly which CRS that file is using.
    – mshroyer
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 9:56
  • 1
    Same problem. Do you have some metadata documenting the dataset? There should be some information about what CRS the data is saved in. What zone of the world should the layers cover?
    – Babel
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 10:06
  • The dataset should cover an area around Mariposa, CA, USA. (37.6050597, -119.8222828).
    – mshroyer
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 10:11
  • 2
    Hm, UTM zone 11 seems not to help... You should find an information about the projection used in the metadata.
    – Babel
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


You should find the CRS that the dataset is saved in and then assign this CRS to your layer: right-click layer / Layer CRS / Set layer CRS. Probably an Albers Equal area projection was used: using one of the following EPSG-codes projects your data to the Stanislaus National Forest north of Mariposa: 3309, 3310, 6414, 3311, 3488, 102962. Is this the correct place? Then probably that was the projection used for the data.

Best is to find out which CRS to use in the metadata of your dataset, where that should be stated somewhere.

If you know the region, you can try to find the CRS by typing in the CRS selection dialog California and by trial and error see if one of the CRS projects the data in the right place. That's how I found the EPSG-codes mentioned above.

  • I eventually found it in the dataset's user manual, which seems to indicate EPSG:4326, the first CRS I tried manually applying. But at this point I suspect something's wrong with either this dataset or its documentation.
    – mshroyer
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 4:59

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