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Open Lowland Station

Open Lowland Station

Record Type: Station

Activation Date: Jan. 1, 1995

Archived Data: Sensor Data - Open Lowland Station

Description: The Open Lowlands Environmental Monitoring Station includes a variety of different sensors and systems. It is a complement to the Ridgetop Station, and takes the same measurements of wind direction and speed, air temperature, soil temperature at 10 cm and 100cm below the surface, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and rainfall, and solar radiation (both directly from the sun and from what is reflected back to earth from the atmosphere). The Open Lowlands Stations and the Ridgetop Station are close enough to each other that most of the variation in the data can be attributed to altitude difference. While the Ridgetop Station’s soil temperature probes are located at 10cm and 20cm below ground because below that reaches bedrock, the Open Lowland Station has probes at 10cm and 100cm below ground.

The Open Lowlands Environmental Monitoring Station also has an ozone monitor, a carbon dioxide monitor, and a snow station. The ozone monitor is a vacuum which pulls air through a monitor which senses ozone (O¬3) particles. At the surface level, ozone particles are a human created pollutant linked to respiratory and other health problems. The levels observed at the Open Lowlands Environmental Monitoring Station are usually below EPA health risk thresholds, but when there are winds from the south, pollutants from New York City can reach the forest.

The carbon dioxide sensor is part of the Lamont Atmospheric Carbon Observation Project (LACOP). LACOP measures carbon dioxide in different locations to observe the way carbon dioxide is emitted, sequestered, and transported throughout different ecosystems and environments, and especially across an urban to rural gradient. The snow station at the Open Lowlands has sensors which measure the temperature of the snow at different levels in the snow pack. The data on snow are important to research on climate change, because Black Rock Forest is projected to have decreasing snow fall. These data will help understand changes how in snow fall and snow cover are affected by and affect other aspects of the climate system.

Keyword: Climate Change, Environmental Monitoring Stations, Long-Term