Mérida Atmospheric Research Station (MARS)

The Mérida Atmospheric Research Station (MARS)

The MIRA 2 radiometer is now installed on Pico Espejo (8.5314°N, 71.0537°W, 4765 m asl) at Mérida, Venezuela. MIRA 2 is part of the joint Venezuelan, Swedish, and German project of the Mérida Atmospheric Research Station (MARS). Also installed at this inner-tropical site are the ground-based water vapour radiometer WARAM and a DOAS instrument. These instruments are operated by the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen . Measurements of the number density, size distribution, light absorption, scattering, chemical composition and mixing state of aerosols are investigated using a Volatility Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer by the Department of Apllied Environmental Science of the Stockholm University .
Due to its high altitude Pico Espejo provides low tropospheric water vapour column amounts and a high tropospheric transmission. Therefore excellent conditions for ground-based measurements are provided at this inner tropical site. Analyses using NCEP/NCAR data covering the last 50 years suggest that nearly year-round measurements at 270 GHz will be feasible. The first results of MIRA 2 confirm the good tropospheric conditions of this site.
Another advantage of this site is the good accessibility of this high altitude location by the world's highest cable car. A scientific, technical, and organizational summary in pdf-format for this new atmospheric research station can be found
here (1022 kB).

(143 kB)
Satellite picture of the northern part of South America taken by the
MERIS instrument on board ENVISAT (© ESA 2003). Clearly
visible are the Gulf of Venezuela and Lake Maracaibo. The
arrow marks the position of Pico Espejo.

For comments mail to (last modification: June 18th, 2007)