Climate Monitoring Network
(Daniela Di Iorio, GCE Climate Representative)
Four meteorological stations, operated and maintained by various institutions affiliated with the GCE LTER program, are used to characterize the weather and climate over a large spatial scale within the GCE LTER domain. Three of these stations are located on Sapelo Island at Marsh Landing, Flume Dock and the Marine Institute. The Marine Institute maintains a National Weather Service station for daily min/max temperatures and precipitation, and data exist back to 1957.
The Marsh Landing and Flume Dock stations measure various semi-hourly hydrological and quarter-hourly meteorological parameters, and data exist back to 1986. Campbell Scientific Instruments equipment belonging to the SINERR program and made available for the GCE-LTER project was upgraded to LTER Level 2 climate standards in February 2002, and installed at Marsh Landing in July 2002. This station now serves as our primary LTER meteorological station for inter-comparison studies and ClimDB.
A fourth station is located on Hudson Creek in Meridian and is maintained by USGS and GCE personnel. This station has been operational since March 2001 and provisional data on hydrological and meteorological parameters are acquired semi-hourly and hourly respectively.
In November 2002, supplemental funding provided by NSF for LTER ClimDB participants was used to install a telephone line and modem for the Marsh Landing climate station, and data are now automatically harvested, quality-checked, documented and posted on the GCE project web site on a daily basis to provide near-real-time climate data and plots to GCE researchers.
This harvesting technology (based on the GCE Data Toolbox for MATLAB) is also used to download and process near-real-time data from the USGS station at Meridian/Hudson Creek and the USGS river gaging station on the Altamaha River at Doctortown on a daily basis. These data are automatically documented and standardized to compatible units and date formats for comparison with other GCE monitoring data, providing GCE investigators with high quality standardized data in various file formats to support synthetic research projects.
In addition to the climate stations within the GCE study area, we will also use real time monitoring data from the National Data Buoy Center's Station 41008. This buoy is located within the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, approximately 39km from the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. Data from this station will be used to characterize oceanic forcing in physical models, and will serve as an oceanic end-member for various estuary studies.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959 and OCE-1237140. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.