HATS ALT Station

Alert Observatory, Canada - ALT

Station Information:

Geographic Location: Alert, Northwest Territories, Canada

Latitude: 82o 28' N Longitude: 62o 30'W

Elevation: 210 m Time: UT-4 hours

Station Description (provided by Doug Worthy, AES):

Canadian Forces Station Alert is located at 82o 28' N, 62o 30'W on the edge of the Lincoln Sea at the northeast tip of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. The terrain in the immediate area is steeply rolling, on the order of 100 - 150 m absolute sea level, with frequent deep ravines and high cliffs. The land around Alert is covered with snow for almost ten months of the year and has a sparse covering of polar desert vegetation in the summer. The main camp is stationed with around 200 to 300 military and civilian personnel year round.

The Canadian Baseline Observatory at Alert consists of a 200 m2 laboratory space located on plateau approximately 6 km SSW of the main camp. As it is approached from the main camp, this plateau rises abruptly to an elevation of approximately 200 m with local hills to 500 m. This is the northern edge of the Hazen Plateau which continues ro rise to the south, reaching a typical elevation of 1000 m and extending through the central part of northern Ellesmere Island. Southwest of Alert is the rugged United States range, with peaks exceeding 2500 m. The Greenland coast is 60 km east of Alert. The southeastern edge of the the Hazen plateau is defined by the 7500 km2 Agassiz Ice Cap, a permanent feature with a central elevation greater than 2000 m.

The annual mean air temperature at the Observatory is -18 oC and the monthly mean air temperature increases to 3 oC in August and decreases to below -30 oC from December to the end of March. The annual mean value of the wind velocity is 3.5 m s-1. The prevailing winds are SSE to WWS due to channelling by the mountainous regions of northern Ellesmere Island and Greenland. A more detailed meterological summary can be found in Hopper and Hart [1994].


Hopper, J.F. and W. Hart .Meteorological aspects of the 1992 Polar Sunrise Experiment, Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, (D12), 25315-25328, 1994.

Related Links:

Atmospheric Environment Service

Station Operated by:

Environment Canada
Atmospheric Environment Service (AES)
4905 Dufferin Street
Downsview, Ontario CANADA M3H 5T4
Phone: (416) 739-4662
Fax: (416) 739-4664

AES Contact: Mr. Doug E. J. Worthy

Contacts for HATS activities only at Alert:

Dr. James W. Elkins (principal investigator, NOAA)

Data analysis and flask project leaders: Drs. James H. Butler and Stephen A. Montzka
Sample analysis and preliminary data analysis: Debbie Mondeel

In situ measurements (currently N2O and SF6 once an hour):
Operations manager: Mr. Geoffrey S. Dutton
The original in situ GC was setup by Dr. Paula R. Wamsley.