Tracer Data
Meteorological Data
Model Evaluation





In 1985, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories was contracted by the U.S. EPA to develop and demonstrate a data archival format. The archival format was designed to make the results of extensive field tests readily accessible for model testing, development, and verification efforts.

Battelle demonstrated the archival format on two tracer dispersion data sets and one meteorological field data set, which are provided via this web site with the respective data sets. They also documented in three reports their effort in developing the data archival procedures:

1. Survey of Meteorological and Tracer Data for Demonstrating a Data Archive (863KB) – a survey of pre-1980 candidate data sets.

2. Introduction to Micrometeorological and Tracer Data Archive Procedures (542KB) – provides an overview of the archival procedures and formats.

3. Development of a Micrometeorological and Tracer Data Archive (Final Report) (146KB) – summarizes the lessons learned in archiving several data sets, and provide guidance for those who might conduct such efforts in the future.

Below are the pre-1980 meteorological data sets identified by Battelle as most worthy of archival and dissemination for future research efforts.

I only have access to the Minnesota 1973 data set, which I can provide. Whether I will ever gain access to the other listed data sets will rely on helpful researchers providing me with these data, so I can make them available (hint, hint).

MINNESOTA 1973 A full-scale planetary boundary layer field experiment was conducted in northwestern Minnesota in the late summer of 1973 (Izumi and Caughey, 1976; Readings and Butler, 1972). The site was at the middle of the southern edge of an extremely flat, square-mile section of farmland about 3 km east of Donaldson. The surface cover was wheat stubble and harrowed soil. Observations were made for winds from directions that had undisturbed fetch for 10 km. Only data obtained during unstable periods are recommended as reliable by the experimenters based on stationarity considerations. The data from the surface to 32 m were collected from a tower and those from 61 to 1220 m with a 330-m^3 kite balloon. Tower and balloon data were collected continuously during each run. Slow ascent rawinsondes were launched every 2 hours during the day and evenings, and every 3 to 4 hours at night. Eleven 75-minute runs were documented. These runs span the early-to-late afternoon period, although data were collected through the nocturnal transition. The nocturnal data were not originally analyzed or published because winds and turbulence levels dropped below reliable measurement levels. Drag plate measurements were reportedly attempted, but apparently were not successful and/or not reported.

CABAUW 1977-1979 A series of comprehensive boundary layer experiments was conducted using the 213-m meteorological mast of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute located near the village of Cabauw in the center of the Netherlands. The site is flat within a 20-km radius and is homogeneous on a scale of several kilometers with a surface roughness of 0.05 to 0.35 m, depending on the direction. The data set was collected from August 1977 through February 1979 and includes observations under all stabilities, including observations of the nocturnal boundary layer. Approximately 20 experimental runs of 5 hours to 3 days duration were obtained. This, coupled with the comprehensiveness of the data set, would appear to provide a substantive data set for understanding the diurnal pumping of the boundary layer and its effect on pollutant transport and vertical distributions, and for evaluating modeling simulations of a full diurnal cycle.

The Cabauw 1977-1979 data set has been analyzed and interpreted by Driedonks doctoral dissertation (Driedonks, 1982) which deals with the dynamics of the mixed layer. Nieuwstadt (1981) uses this and other Cabauw data to test nocturnal boundary layer theory. The Cabauw mast instrumentation, site, and measurement and data-handling practices have been outlined by Driedonks et a1. (1978). The data are archived on magnetic tape and are available through F.T.M. Nieuwstadt (now deceased) or A.G.M. Driedonks of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands.

KOORIN In 1967, the Australian Wangara expedition to Hay, New South Wales, resulted in a boundary layer data set, for a smooth, flat surface, that has been widely used and cited in the literature. Australian researchers of the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology launched an even more comprehensive study for 29 days in July and August 1974. The intent was to conduct a similar study for a region of greater roughness and change in the Coriolis effect. The site selected was Daly Waters, Northern Territory, a site approximately 18 degrees of latitude northward of the Hay site. The site is semiarid woodland and savannah with grass. Observations were collected at two micrometeorological and one surface-upper air site. The micro-meteorological sites (M1 and M2) were each flat and homogeneous on the macro-scale, but represented clearly different roughness regimes. The M1 site was sparsely covered by 5-10-m- high trees and with a sparse under- storey of grasses. The M2 site was covered with a more dense and uniform height (10 m) tree cover and a more dense under- storey, although still far from full.

The surface-upper air and micrometeoro1ogical observational programs were carried out 24 hours per day for 29 days. Aircraft sampling was conducted on 5 days and 2 nights.  The Koorin Expedition is similar in many respects to the Cabauw and Wangara experiments. The Cabauw data set is notable for the depth of layer studied and the duration of the study, whereas Wangara and Koorin both address the spatial variability of the surface and boundary layer over distinctly different homogeneous surfaces. In this respect, the Koorin Expedition provides additional insight into spatial variability by having obtained successive paired aircraft measurements of vertical fluxes of heat at separate locations.

The Koorin Expedition data exist in report form (Clark and Brook, 1979) and on magnetic tape. The latter is available from J. R. Garratt, CSIRO, Victoria, Australia, or a copy exists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (T. Yamada). The Koorin data have been extensively analyzed and reported in the literature by J. R. Garratt (Garratt, 1978a; 1978b; 1982; Garratt and Francey, 1978; and Garratt, Wyngaard and Francey, 1982).

CABLE The Cooperative Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment (CABLE) was a study of the convective boundary layer conducted in southeast England in the relatively uniform country side of Cardington and Weston-on- the-Green. CABLE was a joint effort of the Meteorological Research Unit, Royal Air Force, Cardington; the Department of Meteorology, Reading University; and the Atmospheric Physics Group, Imperial College. The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effects of spatial variability in the surface energy balance on heat flux profiles and boundary layer development, compare point and aircraft eddy correlation heat flux measurements, and compare the relative importance of processes contributing to the heat budget for a fair weather convective boundary layer. Data were collected on 4 days in August 1976 from about 9 to 16 GMT under summer anticyclonic conditions and with strong solar heating. Afternoon cumulus developed on most days. Maximum daily mixing depths ranged from about 800 to 1900 m. Clear nights and light winds generally resulted in the development of a nocturnal inversion.

The CABLE data set was subsequently identified, and while detailed documentation has not yet been identified or obtained, it appears to have the attributes of the Aschurch data set and does incorporate the desired direct heat flux measurements. The CABLE data set also provides a basis for comparing point, bulk, and path average (aircraft) methods for measuring heat flux. The CABLE data have been analyzed by Moores et al. (1979), to address the above-stated objectives of the study. No reported analysis of the data in the context of mixed layer scaling laws has been identified. The status of the analysis and the availability of the data set for archiving can be determined by contacting the Meteorological Research Unit at Cardington.

PHOENIX The Phoenix Project was carried out at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) during September 1978 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Wave Propagation Laboratory and the Atmospheric Technology Division of National Center for Atmospheric Research, together with other agencies and institutions. Phoenix included a group of experiments to test, evaluate, and compare a number of remote sensing systems, and experiments to develop a comprehensive set of observations of the convective boundary 1ayer. The BAO is about 25 km east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and about 30 km north of Denver in an area of gently rolling terrain with a slight north-south grade (1 to 2%). Roughness lengths vary from about 2 to 30 cm depending on azimuth direction. Surface cover is predominately grass fields. The field study ran from September 1 through 28 with most of the observations conducted during the daylight hours, although some systems could continue measurements unattended overnight. The cornerstone observing system was the BAO 300-m tower, but the experiment included an unprecedented array of measurement systems including three research aircraft, a 25-station surface mesoscale network, five radars, a lidar, acoustic sounders, three microwave radiometers, path averaging laser anemometers, rawinsondes, and neutrally buoyant balloons.

The Phoenix Project has been described by Hooke (1979). Hooke also outlines how to gain access to and examine data collected by the basic BAO systems and retained there on tape. A dedicated computer and existing software allows users to utilize a terminal to ascertain what data and formats exist, and to then examine either numerical or graphical presentations of the actual data. The special Pheonix data (e.g., remote sensing, aircraft, etc.) exists on tape, but is available separately from the individual principal investigators as identified in Hooke's (1979) report. There does not appear to be any published analyses of the Phoenix data in the literature through 1983.


Clarke, R. H., and R. R. Brook, eds. (1979): The Koorin Expedition. Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, Australia.

Driedonks, A. G. M., H. van Dop and W. H. Kohsiek (1978): Meteorological Observations on the 213 m Mast at Cabauw in the Netherlands. In: Reprints Fourth Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation, American Meteorology Society, Denver, Colorado, pp. 41-46.

Driedonks, A. G. M (1981): Dynamics of the Well-Mixed Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Doctoral Dissertation, Free University of Amsterdam.

Garratt, J. R. (1982): Observations in the Nocturnal Boundary Layer. Boundary Layer Meteorol., 22:21-48.

Garratt, J. R. (1978a): Flux Profile Relations Above Tall Vegetation. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 104:199-211.

Garratt, J. R. (1978b): Transfer Characteristics for a Heterogeneous Surface of Large Aerodynamic Roughness. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 104:491-502.

Garratt, J. R., and R. J. Francey (1978): Bulk Characteristics of Heat Transfer in the Unstable Baroclinic Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Boundary Layer Meteoro1., 15:399-421.

Garratt, J. R., J. C. Wyngard and R. J. Francey (1982): Influence of Entrainment and Advection on Winds in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer –Prediction and Observation, J. Atm. Sci., 39:1307-1316.

Hooke, W. H., ed. (1979): Project Phoenix, The September 1978 Field Operation. NOAA/ERL Wave Propagation Laboratory. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

Izumi, Y., and J. S. Caughey (1976) (1.1MB): Minnesota 1973 Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment Data Report. AFCRL-TR-76-0038, Environmental Research Papers, No. 547. Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Moores, W. H., S. J. Caughey, C. J. Readings, J. R. Milford, D. A. Mansfield, S. Abdulla, T. H. Guymer and W. B. Johnston (1979): Measurements of Boundary Layer Structure and Development over S.E.
Eng1 and Using Aircraft and Tethered Balloon Instrumentation. Quart. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 105:397-421.

Nieuwstadt, F. T. M. (1981): The Steady-State Height and Resistance Laws of the Nocturnal Boundary Layer: Theory Compared with Cabauw Observations. Boundary Layer Meteorol., 20:3-17.

Readings, C. J., and H. E. Butler (1972): The Measurement of Atmospheric Turbulence from a Captive Balloon. Meteorol. Mag., 101:286-298.