GMD Site Description: BRW


  • Country: United States Country Flag
  • Latitude: 71.3230° North
  • Longitude: 156.6114° West
  • Elevation: 11.00 masl
  • Time Zone: Local Standard Time + 9.0 hour(s) = UTC


  • Contact Name: Bryan Thomas
  • Address: Barrow Observatory
    P.O. Box 888
    Barrow, Alaska, 99723, United States
  • Phone: (907) 852-6500
  • Fax: (907) 852-4622


Barrow Observatory, established in 1973, is located near sea level 8 km east of Utqiaġvik, Alaska at 71.32 degrees north. This facility is manned year around by 2 engineers/scientists who often commute to work in winter on snow machines. Due to its unique location, dedicated and highly trained staff, excellent power and communications infrastructure, the Barrow Observatory is host to numerous cooperative research projects from around the world.

BRW is located so that it receives minimal influence from anthropogenic effects. It is about 8 km northeast of the village of Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) and has a prevailing east-northeast wind off the Beaufort Sea. It is attended at least 5 days a week for routine inspection and maintenance of the instrumentation. In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a weather observing facility in Barrow. Although the measurements at Barrow are made over open tundra, there are large lagoons and a number of lakes in the vicinity, and the Arctic Ocean is less than 3 km northwest of the site. Because of its proximity to these bodies of water and the fact that the prevailing winds are off the Beaufort Sea, BRW is perhaps best characterized as having an Arctic maritime climate affected by variations of weather and sea ice conditions in the Central Arctic.

GMD Projects at Barrow, Alaska

Carbon Cycle Surface Flasks

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Carbon Dioxide CO2 1971-04-25 Ongoing
Methane CH4 1983-04-06 Ongoing
Carbon Monoxide CO 1988-07-24 Ongoing
Molecular Hydrogen H2 1988-07-24 Ongoing
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1997-05-02 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1997-05-02 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Carbon Dioxide d13C (CO2) 1990-01-06 Ongoing
Oxygen-18/Oxygen-16 in Carbon Dioxide d18O (CO2) 1990-01-06 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Methane d13C (CH4) 1998-01-03 Ongoing
D/H in Methane dD (CH4) 2005-04-01 Terminated - 2010-03-12
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 2005-05-20 Ongoing
Benzene C6H6 2007-02-16 Ongoing
toluene C7H8 2007-02-16 Ongoing
ethane C2H6 2005-05-20 Ongoing
ethene C2H4 2005-05-20 Ongoing
propane C3H8 2005-05-20 Ongoing
propene C3H6 2005-05-20 Ongoing
i-butane i-C4H10 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-butane n-C4H10 2005-05-20 Ongoing
i-pentane i-C5H12 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-pentane n-C5H12 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-hexane n-C6H14 2005-05-20 Ongoing
Wind Speed ws 1992-07-10 Ongoing
Wind Direction wd 1992-07-10 Ongoing
Temperature temp 2004-08-21 Terminated - 2004-09-13
isoprene C5H8 2007-02-16 Ongoing
Acetylene C2H2 2007-05-25 Ongoing
Carbon-14/Carbon in Methane D14C (CH4) 2013-03-26 Terminated - 2015-11-09
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Carbon Monoxide d13C (CO) 1990-03-28 Terminated - 1996-08-21

Carbon Cycle In Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Carbon Dioxide CO2 1973-07-24 Ongoing
Methane CH4 1986-01-29 Ongoing
Carbon Monoxide CO 1991-09-11 Ongoing
Nitrous Oxide N2O 2013-06-27 Ongoing

HATS Flask Sampling

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1994-12-24 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1994-12-24 Ongoing
HFC-134a CH2FCF3 1994-11-25 Ongoing
HCFC-22 CHF2Cl 1992-04-08 Ongoing
CFC-12 CCl2F2 1994-12-24 Ongoing
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 1994-04-15 Ongoing
CFC-114 CFC-114 1992-02-14 Ongoing
HCFC-142b CH3CF2Cl 1992-04-08 Ongoing
Halon-1211 CBrClF2 1992-02-14 Ongoing
methyl bromide CH3Br 1994-01-26 Ongoing
HCFC-141b CH3CCl2F 1993-01-07 Ongoing
methyl iodide CH3I 1994-03-23 Ongoing
CFC-113 CCl2FCClF2 1992-02-14 Ongoing
dichloromethane CH2Cl2 1994-04-15 Ongoing
chloroform CHCl3 1992-12-17 Ongoing
carbon tetrachloride CCl4 1995-01-10 Ongoing
dibromomethane CH2Br2 1998-03-07 Ongoing
tetrachloroethylene C2Cl4 1993-12-11 Ongoing
bromoform CHBr3 1998-01-17 Ongoing
Benzene C6H6 1999-02-12 Ongoing
carbonyl sulfide COS 2000-03-25 Ongoing
HCFC-21 CHCl2F 2000-08-03 Ongoing
HFC-152a CH3CHF2 2000-08-03 Ongoing
toluene C7H8 2014-10-03 Terminated - 2017-04-24
carbonyl disulfide CS2 2005-04-22 Terminated - 2015-03-13
ethane C2H6 2014-10-03 Ongoing
propane C3H8 2007-01-19 Ongoing
i-butane i-C4H10 2014-10-03 Ongoing
n-butane n-C4H10 2007-01-19 Ongoing
i-pentane i-C5H12 2007-01-19 Ongoing
n-pentane n-C5H12 2007-01-19 Ongoing
n-hexane n-C6H14 2013-04-30 Ongoing
Halon 1301 CF3Br 2004-02-14 Ongoing
Halon 2402 CBrF2CBrF2 1995-02-25 Ongoing
HFC-143a CH3CF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
HFC-227ea CF3CHFCF3 2011-06-13 Ongoing
HFC-365mfc CH3CF2CH2CF3 2009-08-10 Ongoing
CFC-115 CClF2CF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
HFC-125 CHF2CF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
CFC-13 CClF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
Perfluoropropane C3F8 2014-10-03 Ongoing
Acetylene C2H2 2007-01-19 Ongoing
HFC-32 CH2F2 2009-03-26 Ongoing
Methyl Chloroform CH3CCl3 1992-04-08 Ongoing
Chloroiodomethane CH2ClI 2017-02-10 Ongoing
diiodomethane CH2I2 2017-02-10 Ongoing
Bromoiodomethane CH2BrI 2017-02-10 Ongoing
Bromochloromethane CH2BrCl 2017-02-10 Ongoing
Bromodichloromethane CHBrCl2 2017-02-10 Ongoing
CFC-11 CCl3F 1994-12-24 Ongoing
tetrafluoromethane CF4 2014-10-03 Ongoing
hexafluoroethane CF3CF3 2014-10-03 Ongoing
nitrogen trifluoride NF3 2014-10-03 Ongoing
sulfuryl fluoride SO2F2 2015-06-19 Ongoing
HFC-236fa CF3CH2CF3 2014-10-03 Ongoing
HCFC-133a CH2ClCF3 2014-10-03 Ongoing
CFC-112 CCl3CClF2 2014-10-10 Ongoing
HFO-1234yf CH2=CFCF3 2016-08-29 Ongoing
1,2-dichloroethane CH2ClCH2Cl 2017-01-24 Ongoing
2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1-Trifluoroethane CHCl2CF3 2017-11-27 Ongoing
1,1-dichloroethane C2H4Cl2 2017-02-10 Ongoing
dibromochloromethane CHBr2Cl 2017-02-10 Ongoing
Ethyl Chloride C2H5Cl 2011-06-13 Ongoing
Propyne C3H4 2011-06-13 Ongoing
Trichloroethylene C2HCl3 2014-10-03 Ongoing

HATS In Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1998-06-15 Ongoing
HCFC-22 CHF2Cl 1998-11-12 Ongoing
CFC-12 CCl2F2 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 1998-08-30 Ongoing
HCFC-142b CH3CF2Cl 1998-09-03 Ongoing
Halon-1211 CBrClF2 1998-06-15 Ongoing
CFC-113 CCl2FCClF2 1998-06-16 Ongoing
chloroform CHCl3 1998-06-01 Ongoing
carbon tetrachloride CCl4 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Methyl Chloroform CH3CCl3 1998-06-16 Ongoing
CFC-11 CCl3F 1998-06-16 Ongoing

Aerosol Surface In-Situ

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Light Scattering Coefficient σsp 1976-05-07 Ongoing
Light Absorption Coefficient σap 1988-01-01 Ongoing
Particle Number Concentration Nt 1976-05-07 Ongoing
Aerosol Chemical Composition 1998-01-01 Ongoing
Cloud condensation nucleus number concentration Nccn 2006-08-12 Terminated - 2012-12-22
Aerosol Hygroscopic Growth f(RH) 2006-08-21 Terminated - 2013-10-18

Radiation In-Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Direct Normal 1976-03-01 Ongoing
Downwelling Shortwave 1976-03-01 Ongoing
Diffuse 1995-07-05 Ongoing
Upwelling Shortwave 1985-01-01 Ongoing
Downwelling Longwave 1993-04-20 Ongoing
Upwelling Longwave 1993-04-20 Ongoing
Spectral 2001-04-01 Ongoing

Surface Ozone

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Ozone O3 1973-03-14 Ongoing

Dobson Total Ozone

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Ozone O3 1973-07-29 Ongoing


Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Wind Speed ws 1973-02-17 Ongoing
Wind Direction wd 1973-02-17 Ongoing
Temperature temp 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Ambient Pressure press 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Relative Humidity rh 1976-01-01 Ongoing