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  • Station or cluster: CryoNet Station
  • Type: Reference
  • Attribute(s): Cal/val, Research
  • WMO ID (if any): 70026-0
  • Shape: polygon
  • Latitude, longitude: 71.32301, -156.61147
  • Altitude and/or range (m): 11
  • Landscape: Coastal
  • Year established: 1973
  • Year-round? Yes
  • Operations contact: Brian Vasel
  • Science contact: James Butler
  • Data contact: Kirk Thoning
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Barrow Baseline Observatory
Reference CryoNet Station Information

Barrow, Alaska Observatory (BRW), established in 1973, is located on the northern most point of the United States. It is about 8 km northeast of the village of Barrow and has a prevailing east-northeast wind off the Beaufort Sea. 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.

This facility is manned year round by 2 engineers/scientists to complete routine inspections and maintenance of the instruments. Due to its unique location, dedicated and highly trained staff, and excellent power and communications infrastructure, the Barrow Observatory is host to numerous cooperative research projects from around the world.

Other Networks to Which This CryoNet Station Belongs

Data Information


The measurements made at Barrow Baseline Observatory are listed in the following tables. (Note: If End Year is blank, measurements are ongoing.)

Cryosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
PermafrostSoil temperature2011Continuous
PermafrostActive layer depth2011Continuous
PermafrostDuration of thaw2011Continuous
PermafrostOnset of seasonal freezing2011Continuous
PermafrostDepth of seasonal freezing2011Continuous

Atmosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
MetAir temperature1976Continuous
MetHumidity/vapour pressure1976Continuous
MetWind speed and direction1973Continuous
MetAir pressure1976Continuous
MetTrace gases1973Continuous
RadiationDownwelling shortwave1976Continuous
RadiationUpwelling shortwave1985Continuous
RadiationDownwelling longwave1993Continuous
RadiationUpwelling longwave1993Continuous
RadiationSunshine duration1976Continuous

Measurement Notes and Other Measurements

Category Description or List
PermafrostSoil temps measured in top 120cm (covering the active layer). From this, other parameters can be easily calculated. Not currently a data product.

Last updated: 31 May 2017