Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 6345–6367, 2014

Special issue: BEACHON Rocky Mountain Organic Carbon Study (ROCS) and Rocky...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 6345–6367, 2014

Review article 26 Jun 2014

Review article | 26 Jun 2014

Overview of the Manitou Experimental Forest Observatory: site description and selected science results from 2008 to 2013

J. Ortega1, A. Turnipseed1, A. B. Guenthera,1, T. G. Karlb,1, D. A. Day2, D. Gochis1, J. A. Huffman4,3, A. J. Prennic,5, E. J. T. Levin5, S. M. Kreidenweis5, P. J. DeMott5, Y. Tobod,5, E. G. Patton1, A. Hodzic1, Y. Y. Cui6, P. C. Harleye,1, R. S. Hornbrook1, E. C. Apel1, R. K. Monson7, A. S. D. Eller8,f, J. P. Greenberg1, M. C. Barth1, P. Campuzano-Jost2, B. B. Palm2, J. L. Jimenez2, A. C. Aiken9, M. K. Dubey9, C. Geron10, J. Offenberg11, M. G. Ryan12,13, P. J. Fornwalt13, S. C. Pryor14,g, F. N. Keutsch15, J. P. DiGangi15,h, A. W. H. Chan16,i, A. H. Goldstein16,17, G. M. Wolfe18,19, S. Kimj,1, L. Kaser20,k, R. Schnitzhofer20, A. Hansel20, C. A. Cantrelll,1, R. L. Mauldinl,1, and J. N. Smith21,1 J. Ortega et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • 2University of Colorado, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and CIRES, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
  • 3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, P.O. Box 3060, 55020, Mainz, Germany
  • 4University of Denver, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Denver, CO 80208, USA
  • 5Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
  • 6Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, MO 63103, USA
  • 7School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Laboratory for Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
  • 8Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
  • 9Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
  • 10US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Air pollution Prevention and Control Division, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 11United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 12National Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
  • 13United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 240 West Prospect Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
  • 14Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington IN 47405, USA
  • 15Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
  • 16Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 17Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 18Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 19Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore County, MD 21250, USA
  • 20Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 21Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
  • anow at: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Atmospheric Sciences Division, P.O. Box 999 Richland, WA 99352, USA
  • bnow at: University of Innsbruck, Institute for Meteorology and Geophysics (IMGI), Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • cnow at: Air Resources Division, National Park Service, Lakewood, CO 80225, USA
  • dnow at: National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8518, Japan
  • enow at: Department of Plant Physiology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu 51014, Estonia
  • fnow at: Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
  • gnow at: Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
  • hnow at: NASA Langley Research Center, Chemistry and Dynamics Branch, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
  • inow at: Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • jnow at: Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
  • know at: National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • lnow at: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA

Abstract. The Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H2O, Organics & Nitrogen (BEACHON) project seeks to understand the feedbacks and inter-relationships between hydrology, biogenic emissions, carbon assimilation, aerosol properties, clouds and associated feedbacks within water-limited ecosystems. The Manitou Experimental Forest Observatory (MEFO) was established in 2008 by the National Center for Atmospheric Research to address many of the BEACHON research objectives, and it now provides a fixed field site with significant infrastructure. MEFO is a mountainous, semi-arid ponderosa pine-dominated forest site that is normally dominated by clean continental air but is periodically influenced by anthropogenic sources from Colorado Front Range cities. This article summarizes the past and ongoing research activities at the site, and highlights some of the significant findings that have resulted from these measurements. These activities include

- soil property measurements;
- hydrological studies;
- measurements of high-frequency turbulence parameters;
- eddy covariance flux measurements of water, energy, aerosols and carbon dioxide through the canopy;
- determination of biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic compound emissions and their influence on regional atmospheric chemistry;
- aerosol number and mass distributions;
- chemical speciation of aerosol particles;
- characterization of ice and cloud condensation nuclei;
- trace gas measurements; and
- model simulations using coupled chemistry and meteorology.

In addition to various long-term continuous measurements, three focused measurement campaigns with state-of-the-art instrumentation have taken place since the site was established, and two of these studies are the subjects of this special issue: BEACHON-ROCS (Rocky Mountain Organic Carbon Study, 2010) and BEACHON-RoMBAS (Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study, 2011).

Final-revised paper