In mid-March, the last of a series of new eddy covariance or “eddy correlation” (ECOR) systems was installed at the ARM Climate Research Facility’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) extended facility at Cyril, Oklahoma. This completes the replacement of the original ECOR systems initiated in 2002. In all, nine new ECOR systems have been deployed, including one on the 18-meter tower at the SGP forest locale at Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The new ECOR systems use proven technology selected on the basis of successful deployments of similar systems at SGP by other organizations. ARM’s ECOR instrument mentor (the technical point of contact for the instrument) adapted software originally developed for the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment systems to minimize software development time and cost, as well as to ensure accuracy and consistency of the measurements. Since the first of these new ECOR systems became operational in September 2003, they have proven both reliable and accurate.
The new ECOR systems provide measurements of the fluxes of heat (sensible and latent), moisture, momentum, and carbon dioxide (CO2) from adjacent crop fields or forest canopy. These measurements complement the heat and moisture flux measurements from the Energy Balance Bowen Ratio systems located at fourteen SGP pasture sites, thereby filling a critical gap in the measurements of the surface energy balance over the SGP domain. The addition of CO2 flux measurements to the new ECOR systems will also benefit investigators involved in the DOE Carbon Cycle Program and related scientific efforts that contribute to the understanding of radiative effects of clouds in simulating global climate.