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GMD Site Description: ZEP


  • Country: Norway and Sweden Country Flag
  • Latitude: 78.9067° North
  • Longitude: 11.8883° East
  • Elevation: 474.00 masl
  • Time Zone: Local Time + -1.0 hour(s) = UTC


Cooperating Agencies

  • Zeppelin Station/University of Stockholm Meteorological Institute
The research village Ny-Aalesund in the European Arctic is one of the world's northernmost human settlements. It is situated in Kongsfjorden on north-western Spitsbergen, which is the largest of the Svalbard islands. The village is surrounded by mountains and glaciers, which at several places stretch well out into the sea. Large areas of Svalbard (about 60 %) are covered with glaciers. Svalbard, with an area of 62049 km2 is very sparsely populated, and the about 2500 inhabitants are living in one of the five small settlements on Spitsbergen. The Norwegian research village Ny-Aalesund is permanently inhabited by about 30 people year-round and additional approx. 150 scientists during summer peak season. The global GAW station Zeppelin Observatory (coordinates: 78°54'29" N, 11°52'53" E) near Ny-Aalesund lies south of the town. The Observatories unique location at 475 m altitude makes it an ideal place for monitoring of global atmospheric gasses and long-transported contaminants. Since the Observatory is above the inversion layer most of the time, the influence from local contamination sources on the measurements is minimal. The Zeppelin Observatory was officially opened in 1990, but after some time of operation the building did not satisfy the requirements for operation of advanced instruments. The old observatory was demolished in 1999, and a new one was built on the same location, and officially re-opened in May 2000. The observatory is owned by the Norwegian Polar Institute, which is responsible for development, maintenance, daily management and safety. The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) is responsible for scientific coordination. The primary users of the observatory are NILU, Stockholm University and the Norwegian Polar Institute. Other institutions also have instruments and measurement program here, run permanently or on a campaign basis.

GMD Projects at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard

Carbon Cycle Surface Flasks

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Carbon Dioxide CO2 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Methane CH4 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Carbon Monoxide CO 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Molecular Hydrogen H2 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1997-03-21 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1997-03-21 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Carbon Dioxide d13C (CO2) 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Oxygen-18/Oxygen-16 in Carbon Dioxide d18O (CO2) 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Methane d13C (CH4) 2001-10-11 Ongoing
D/H in Methane dD (CH4) 2008-04-24 Terminated - 2010-01-21
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 2003-03-13 Ongoing
Benzene C6H6 2003-03-13 Ongoing
toluene C7H8 2003-03-13 Ongoing
ethane C2H6 2003-03-13 Ongoing
ethene C2H4 2003-03-13 Ongoing
propane C3H8 2003-03-13 Ongoing
propene C3H6 2003-03-13 Ongoing
i-butane i-C4H10 2003-03-13 Ongoing
n-butane n-C4H10 2003-03-13 Ongoing
i-pentane i-C5H12 2003-03-13 Ongoing
n-pentane n-C5H12 2003-03-13 Ongoing
n-hexane n-C6H14 2003-03-13 Ongoing
Wind Speed ws 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Wind Direction wd 1994-02-11 Ongoing
Temperature temp 2004-07-22 Terminated - 2004-08-18
isoprene C5H8 2003-03-13 Ongoing
Acetylene C2H2 2003-03-13 Ongoing