Gobabas
Energy balance measurements in the Namib desert. Started August 1, 2009.
NaFoLiCA
NAmibia FOg Life Cycle Analysis - Researching the dynamics and effects of fog in the Namib
Urbanfluxes
URBANFLUXES stands for "URBan ANthrpogenic heat FLUX from Earth observation Satellites" and is a Horizon 2020 funded space research project, coordinated by the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece).
GEOURBAN
Exploiting earth observation in sustainable urban planning & management
TIR@METCRAX II
Contribution of the University of Basel towards the "Meteorological measurements in the Barringer Meteor Crater" project for the examination of downslope windstorm-type flows.
Bucharest
Urban climate study of Bucharest, Romania.
BRIDGE
BRIDGE is a joint effort of 14 European Organizations aiming at incorporating sustainability aspects in urban planning processes, accounting for some well recognised relations between urban metabolism and urban structure. The local measurement program consist of an additional street canyon tower and an additional flux site.
Hyper-Swiss-Net
The Hyper-Swiss-Net project aims at developing and supporting the scientific expertise and infrastructure in Switzerland for the exploitation of imaging spectrometry technology for different Earth observation applications
Micropoem
Investigation of birch pollen production and emission by combining experimental and modeling work in order to quantify the released pollen in relation to turbulence characteristics and micrometeorological parameters around a pollen source.
Former projects
A list of former projects of the MCR Unibas



Gobabeb
Tower upside down
Flower in the desert
Not a flower in the desert
Still not a flower in the desert

Project description

GobaBas is the term for Micrometeorological Research of the University of Basel in Gobabeb or if you want Gobabebian Research of University of Basel.

We contribute with GobaBas to the understanding of the micrometeorology/-climatology of the exceptional environments in and around Gobabeb. Components of the surface energy balance are measured on a longterm basis which is rare in desert landscapes. We take advantage of the excellent infrastructure of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre to carry out flux measurements. Furthermore, we cooperate with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) which observes land surface temperatures.

The surface energy balance equation can be simplified to

Rn + G = H + LE,

where Rn is the net radiation, G the soil heat flux, H the turblent sensible heat flux and LE the turbulent latent heat flux. All terms are in W m-2.

The left hand side can be regarded as the available energy and is partitioned into turbulent heat fluxes on the right hand side. Net radiation Rn is measured at the 30 m tower close to Gobabeb by KIT at a height of 3.5m using a CNR1. Since July 2011 the MCR measures Rn also at 30 m height with a CNR4. Initially we planned to measure the soil heat flux G and the sensible heat flux H in order to estimate LE as a residual term. But due to remaining uncertainties, measurements of the latent heat flux were added as well. Since March 2011 all components of the surface energy balance are registered.

Gobabeb

The Gobabeb Research and Training Centre is located in western Namibia at the transition between the southern Namib sand desert and the northern Namib gravel plains. This location near the Kuiseb River, which seperated sharply sand desert from gravel plains over just a few hundred meters, enables the observation of a wide range of environmental characteristics even on a small scale. Gobabeb lies approximately 40 km eastward from the Namibian coastal line, where the Benguala current flows northwards along the west African coast. The cold water of the Benguela current not only determines the dry climate but also provides the most important source of water for most of the living entity due to early morning fog belts.

Gobabeb was founded in 1962 as the Namib Desert Reasearch Station by Dr. Charles Koch (1904-1970). During the last 50 years Gobabeb always represented an important oasis and provided the opportunity to conduct research on environmental systems for different purposes. Today, Gobabeb is a internationally well known reasearch station, as many scientists from all over the world visted the station to perform their respective research projects. Nowadays, Gobabeb also provides training programs. The research and educational work in Gobabeb is highly regarded and very important in terms of sustainable development and environmental awareness on a global scale.

More information about Gobabeb is available on the official web page at https://www.gobabebtrc.org/

MicroMet Tower since Nov 2012

Instrumental Setup

Energy Balance Measurements are taken at the 30 m tower which is located 1.5 km north of Gobabeb in the Namib gravelplains ( GoogleMaps). Since early 2008 the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) maintains there a LST reference site recording surface temperature, net radiation and auxiliary meteorological measurements. End of July 2009 MCR added instruments to measure surface energy balance. Further changes in set-up and additions are documented in the table below.

Meteorological Element Instrument/Manufacturer Height [m] ΔTime Who Period Scan rate Remarks
Air temperature Thermocouples, Type E, 75 µm 0.06 / 0.39 / 0.42 / 0.57 / 0.89 / 1.17 / 2.17 / 3.67 (2x) / 5.67 / 8.67 / 11.67 / 14.67 / 18.67 / 22.17 / 24.17 / 26.17 / 28.17 / 29.67 4 Hz / 1 min / 10min MCR 09.07.2012 - 5.11.2012 4 Hz -
Air temperature, Relative Humidity HMP45C / Vaisala 1.9 / 25 1 min KIT 30.1.2008 - 11.11.2012 15s -
Air temperature, Relative Humidity HMP45C / Vaisala 3.0 / 23.5 1 min KIT 11.11.2012 - 15s Both levels repositioned
Air temperature, ventilated ASPTC, Type E, 75µm 3.67 4 Hz, 1 min, 10min MCR 09.07.2012 - 05.11.2012 4 Hz -
Air temperature, ventilated ASPTC, Type E, 75µm 3.0 / 23.5 4 Hz / 1 min / 10 min MCR 05.11.2012 - 4 Hz -
Components of net radiation CNR1, Kipp & Zonen 3.1 1 min KIT 30.1.2008 - 15s -
Components of net radiation CNR4, Kipp & Zonen 30 1 min MCR 12.7.2011 - 0.5 Hz -
Heat flux plates HFT3, REBS Instruments -0.05 (3x) 1 min MCR 1.9.2009 2 s* -
Heat flux plates HFP01, Hukseflux -0.05 (2x) 1 min MCR 1.9.2009 2 s* -
Sky temperature KT15, Heimann 4.3 1 min KIT 30.1.2008 - 15s -
Soil temperature ST107, Campbell -0.04 (3x) 1 min MCR 1.9.2009 2 s* -
Soil temperature profile TH3, UMS GmbH -0.05 / -0.1 / -0.2 / -0.3 / -0.5 1 min MCR 1.9.2009 - 19.11.2010 1 Hz -
Soil temperature profile TH3,
UMS GmbH
-0.05 / -0.1 / -0.2 / -0.3 / -0.5 / -1.0 1 min MCR 15.7.2011 - 5 s -
Surface temperature KT15, Heimann 25 (2x) 1 min KIT 30.1.2008 - 15 s One removed in 2012
Wind direction WAV14 wind vane 27.1 MCR 05.11.2012 - 1s -
Wind speed Young Propeller 2 / 3.2 / 25.3 1 min KIT 30.1.2008 - 11.11.2012 15s Top boom ca. 0.7 m / Bottom boom ca. 1.5 m
Wind speed Young Propeller 15.2 1 min KIT 11.1.2012 - 1 Hz Lower level taken away. Upper level repositioned
Wind speed cup anemometers 2xNRG#40 / 3 x WAA15 27.2 27.1 / 23.6 / 10.3 10.1 1 min / 10min MCR /Poly 05.11.2012- 1s -
Wind vector, acoustic temperature CSAT3, Campbell 3.3 15.7.2012 - - Distance from tower ca. 2m
Wind vector, acoustic temperature CSAT3, Campbell 5.3 / 27.2 1 min / 30min MCR 1.9.2009 - 1.3.2011 20 Hz -
Wind vector, acoustic temperature CO 2, H2O concentration CSAT3, Campbell
Li7500, LiCOR
14.5 1 min,
30min
MCR 1.3.2011 - 5.11.2012 10 Hz -
Wind vector, acoustic temperature CO2, H2O concentration EC150, Campbell 23.5 1 min,
30min
MCR 15.7.2012 - 10 Hz Distance from tower ca. 1.5m

Data from KIT are sampled with a CR1000 (Campbell). Data from MCR are sampled with a CR3000. Fluxes are calculated online and are stored as 1 min and 30 min averages.

Raw data time series are stored most of the time. *= before 12.7.2011 scan rate was 1 s. November 2012 fast and slow measurements from MCR were separated to two CR3000.

BSRN on the rock(s)

Tracker close-up


Time flies like an arrow some flies do disturb us

Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN)

Practically all energy comes through radiation from the sun to our Earth. On average 1360 W m-2 arrive on top of the atmosphere. On its travel part of it interacts with the atmosphere (reflection, scattering, absorption) and the Earth's surface receives direct and diffuse solar (shortwave) radiation from the sun and long-wave radiation from the atmosphere. From the surface part of the shortwave incoming is reflected and long-wave radiation is emitted. A detailed knowledge of the incoming and outgoing radiation fluxes at the Earth's surface is essential for modeling weather and climate. Therefore such data "are of primary importance in supporting the validation and confirmation of satellite and computer model estimates of these quantities."

The BSRN fulfills this task. "At a small number of stations (currently about 40) in contrasting climatic zones, covering a latitude range from 80°N to 90°S, solar and atmospheric radiation is measured with instruments of the highest available accuracy and with high time resolution (1 to 3 minutes). "BSRN is a project of the Radiation Panel from the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment GEWEX under the umbrella of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and as such is aimed at detecting important changes in the Earth's radiation field at the Earth's surface which may be related to climate changes.

MCR from University of Basel together with Gobabeb and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) installed a BSRN compatible station in Gobabeb on the prominent "radiation rock" where in former times global radiation was measured with an analog Fuess-Robitzsch bimetal radiation recorder. In a technical assistance agreement these three institutions made a solemn vow to carry out these measurements at least for six years (end 2018).

More details can be picked from the BSRN project page and data can be seen on Dolueg

Thermocouples

Studying in Gobabeb


Students Field Course


Data Logger

Field Course on Meteorological Measurement and Instrumention

MCR Lab offers a field course on meteorological measurement and instrumentation on an annual basis for BSc students in Geosciences at the University of Basel. In August 2010 the course took place for the first time in Gobabeb and was held also in August 2012 and 2014. In the future every second year a group of 10-20 students will come to Gobabeb to learn with practical field work how to set up meteorological measurement systems, sample and analyze the data and present results in a final little scientific conference. Further the students have to analyse and present scientific data of their own measurements during several sessions. The 8 days field course finishes with a 4 day bus excursion in the area of the lower Kuiseb river, Swakopmund and Erongo.

Publications

Articles (peer-reviewed)

Title Author(s) Journal Year Volume Pages DOI
The SASSCAL contribution to climate observation, climate data management and data rescue in Southern Africa Kaspar, F., Helmschrot, J., Mhanda, A., Butale, M., de Clercq, W., Kanyanga, J. K., Neto, F. O. S., Kruger, S., Castro Matsheka, M., Muche, G., Hillmann, T., Josenhans, K., Posada, R., Riede, J., Seely, M., Ribeiro, C., Kenabatho, P., Vogt, R., and Jürgens, N.  Adv. Sci. Res. 2015 12 171-177 10.5194/asr-12-171-2015
Fog spatial distributions over the Central Namib Desert an isotope approach Kaseke K, Tian C, Wang L, Seely M, Vogt R, Wassenaar T, Mushi R Aerosol and Air Quality Research 2017 18(1) 49-61 10.4209/aaqr.2017.01.0062
The impact of fog on soil moisture dynamics in the Namib Desert Li B, Wang L, Kaseke K, Vogt R, Li L, Seely M Advances in Water Resources 2018 113 23-29 10.1016/j.advwatres.2018.01.004
Spatiotemporal dynamics of fog and low clouds in the Namib unveiled with ground- and space-based observations Andersen H, Cermak J, Solodovnik I, Lelli L, Vogt R Atm Chem Phys 2019 19(7) 4383–4392 10.5194/acp-19-4383-2019
Probing the Fog Life Cycle in the Central Namib Desert Spirig R, Vogt R, Larsen JA, Feigenwinter C, Wicki A, Franceschi J, Parlow E, Adler B, Kalthoff N, Cermak J, Andersen H, Fuchs J, Bott A, Hacker M, Wagner N, Maggs-Kölling G, Wassenaar T, Seely MK Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. accecpted

Masters Thesis

Title Author Year
Energy balance at the Gobabeb site. Koller, Patrick 2013
Characteristics of turbulent exchange in a desert environment. Schmutz, Michael 2013
Analysis of BSRN data. Allemann, Matthias 2016
Analyse der Tagesnebeldynamik an der Atlantikküste Namibias anhand von Meteosat-Satellitendaten. Kathrin Alber 2016
Fog climatology of the Central Namib. Rütimann, Mihal 2017
Near-surface dynamics during fog events: An approach to connect fog precipitation with fog deposition at the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. Joel Franceschi 2019

 

Bachelor Thesis

Title Author Year
Micrometeorological characteristics of the arid Namib Desert environment. Rieper, Christoph 2011.
Die meteorologischen Verhältnisse an einem Wüstenstandort. Neff, Basil 2012
Charakterisierung der Schichtungsverhältnisse und des turbulenten Austauschs mittels zeitlich hoch aufgelöster Temperaturprofile an einem Wüstenstandort. Schmutz, Michael 2012
Vegetationsdynamik in Namibia anhand von MODIS-Satellitendaten - Beispiel einer niederschlagsarmen Regenzeit. Buol, Amanda 2012
Vormittägliches Nebelaufkommen an der Atlantikküste Namibias. Heller, Sann 2012
Die Albedo im Umfeld der Wüstenforschungsstation Gobabeb. Pescarino, Nicandro 2013
Analyse der neueren Windmessungen in Gobabeb. Lütolf, Pascal 2013
Untersuchung von Kohlendioxid-Flussmessungen in der Namib. Rütimann, Mihal 2014
Investigation of ceilometer-derived mixing layer heights from a desert site. Rölli, Thomas 2016
Mikrometeorologische Untersuchung im Zeitraum des Feldkurses 2016 in Gobabeb. Mario Schär 2017
Spektrale Anomalie der Rössing Uranmine in der Wüste Namib: Analyse der Umweltveränderung anhand von Landsat Satellitendaten. Beat Pfund 2017
Schichtungsverhältnisse der Atmosphäre in der Namib.Bearbeitung von Messdaten des Standorts Gobabeb. Alexandre Barth 2018
Analyse des Bodenwärmestroms an der Towerstation in Gobabeb. Yannik Pude 2018
Analyse von Windfeld und Nebeldynamik zur Erklärung der Ausbreitung von Cyanobakterien in der Namib/Rössing Mine mit Hilfe von Satellitendaten. Oliver Eberli 2019
Eine Analyse zeitlicher und räumlicher Dynamik von Stratus und Nebel in der Namib anhand von bodengestützten meteorologischen Messgrössen. Martina Burger 2019

Talks

Title Author(s) Event Location Date Year
Wüste Meteorologie in Namibia Vogt, Roland MCR Aktuell Uni Basel November 2010
Wüste Meteorologie und thermale Turbulenzen - Turbulenzvisualisierung mit einer Thermalkamera Vogt, Roland Institutskolloquium IHM TU Dresden January 6 2011
Desert Meteorology and Thermal Turbulence Vogt, Roland - Gobabeb February 9 2011
Gobabebian Research in Micrometeorology Vogt, Roland Gobabeb colloquium of the Royal Society of South Africa. Desert research: past and future. Gobabeb April 30 - May 1 2012
Radiation Measurement in Gobabeb, Namibia Vogt, Roland Twelfth BSRN Scientific Review and Workshop AWI Potsdam, Germany August 1-3 2012
Wüste Meteorologie (mit aktuellen Ergebnissen) Vogt, Roland Arbeitskreis Klima Berlin. December 26-28 2012
The 4th F: Fog, First results from FogNet Vogt, Roland 1st FogLife colloquium Gobabeb November 11-13 2014
Meteorological research carried out by MCR, Uni Basel, in Gobabeb, Namibia Vogt, Roland Namibia Research Day Uni Basel September 26 2014
FogNet - FogLife: Boone and bane of measurements in the desert Vogt, Roland 2nd FogLife colloquium Gobabeb June 15-18 2015
FogNet - Nebelbeobachtung in der Zentralen Namib oder Auf dass der Nebel sich lichtet Vogt, Roland 34. Jahrestreffen des Arbeitskreises Klima Hattingen an der Ruhr - 2015
On Fog Climatology in the Central Namib and also on NaFoLiCA: Namib Fog Life Cycle Analysis Vogt, Roland - - - 2017

Posters

Title Author(s) Event Location Date Year
Playing in the Champions League of Radiation Measurement. Vogt, Roland Gobabeb Open Day Gobabeb September 22 2012
Where the Tower Meets its Shadow: Micrometeorological Measurements in Gobabeb. Vogt, Roland; Olesen, Folke Gobabeb Open Day Gobabeb September 22 2012
EDDY MATRIX: TESTING ASSUMPTIONS OF SURFACE-ATMOSPHERE EXCHANGE UNDER IDEAL CONDITIONS AT GOBABEB, NAMIBIA. Eilzer, Heidi; Engelmann, Christian; Mihm, Friedrich; Richter, Undine; Säurich, Annelie; Tomaszewski, Gregor; Eichelmann, Uwe; Bernhofer, Christian Gobabeb Open Day Gobabeb September 22 2012
Two years of BSRN measurements in Gobabeb, Namibia. Vogt, Roland 13th BSRN Scientific Review and Workshop Bologna September 9-12 2014
FogNet goes movie. Spirig, Robert; Wassenaar, Theo; Vogt, Roland; Maggs-Kölling; Seely, Mary SASSCAL meeting Lusaka April 2018
Measuring fog precipitation and fog deposition in the Namib Desert. Feigenwinter, Christian; Franceschi, Joel; Larsen, Jarl Are; Spirig, Robert; Vogt, Roland; EGU Vienna, Austria April 7-12 2019
The vertical and spatial structure of fog events in the Namib Desert Spirig, Robert; Feigenwinter, Christian; Wicki, Andreas, Franceschi, Joel; Vogt, Roland; Adler, Bianca; Kalthoff, Norbert; Andersen, Hendrik; Fuchs, Julia; Cermak, Jan; Hacker, Maike; Wagner, Niklas; Bott, Andreas; Maggs-Kölling, Gillian; EGU Vienna, Austria April 7-12 2019
Lifting the fog in the central Namib - where did it come from? Vogt, Roland; Maggs-Kölling, Gillian; Seely, Mary Kathryn 8th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew IFDA Taipei, Taiwan July 14-19 2019
Fog droplet distributions and liquid water fluxes in the hyperarid Namib. Spirig, Robert; Feigenwinter, Christian; Vogt, Roland; 8th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew IFDA Taipei, Taiwan July 14-19 2019
Near-surface dynamics during Fog Events: An approach to connect fog precipitation with fog deposition at the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. Franceschi, Joel; Feigenwinter, Christian; Spirig, Robert; Vogt, Roland; 8th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew IFDA Taipei, Taiwan July 14-19 2019
Microlysimeter and fog collector measurements in the Namib desert. Feigenwinter, Christian; Vogt, Roland; Larsen, Jarl Are; Spirig, Robert; Franceschi, Joel; 8th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew IFDA Taipei, Taiwan July 14-19 2019

Gobabas Calendar

The following list provides an overview of the stations history and future projects.

  • RV - Roland Vogt
  • EA - Egon Alter
  • PK - Patrick Koller
  • AP - Andrea Pitacco
  • MM - Mathias Mueller
  • EP - Eberhard Parlow
  • HRR - Hansrudolf Rueegg
  • MS - Michael Schmutz
  • SB - Serafin Bieder
  • MR - Mihal Rütimann
  • CF - Christian Feigenwinter
  • RS - Robert Spirig
  • JL - Jarl Are Larsen
  • AW - Andreas Wicki
  • JF - Joel Franceschi

Guests:

  • MaMo - Margherita Morgantin
  • SK - Sara Koller
  • GK - Gereon Klein
  • VM - Vera Marx
  • UJ - Ueli Joss
  • FO - Folke Olesen (KIT)
Year Month Events Participants
2009 07 Start of Project "Gobabas" RV, PK, FO
2010 02 Thermal camera experiment RV, PK, AP, MaMo, MM, EP
2010 08 Students field course MIP2010 RV, PK, EP, HRR
2010 08 Thermocouple profile 1 RV, MS
2011 02 Mirabib field campaign. Scintillometer, soil heat fluxes, radiometer intercomparison RV, PK, AP, MM, EP, GK, VM
2011 05 Removal of two sonics. Start with radiation measurements "on the rocks" RV
2011 07 Second scintillometer campaign. Start of net radiation at 30m with CNR4. Replacement of soil temperature profile. RV, PK, SK
2012 01 Dew point mirror tests. General maintenance work. Preparation of BSRN project and field course. RV, AP
2012 04 Installation of BSRN measurement system RV, MS, UJ
2012 07 Thermocouple profile 2. Adding second EC system (EC150) RV, MS
2012 08 Field course MIP2012 with students from Uni Basel and TU Dresden RV, MS, EP
2012 11 Removal of TC profile 2 and one EC system (Li7500). Installation additional wind measurements. Cleaning of all BSRN instruments. Shipped instruments from Mirabib field campaign back to Switzerland. RV, MS
2013 02 BSRN maintenance, diverse works related to HWD and fog collectors RV
2013 07 BSRN exchange of reference CMP22 and CGR4, RadCom inter-comparison (CMP22, CGR4, CNR4, CM22, CG4), exchange of CNR4 at wind mast, house-keeping at wind mast RV, SB
2013 11 Repair of tracker, exchange of reference pyrheliometer RV
2014 02 Installation of ceilometer. Calibration of gas analyzer. Inter-comparison of FOWS wind-run cup anemometer with a reference anemometer. Operation of dewpoint mirror at BSRN station. RV, CF
2014 03 Installation of Neutron probe. Gravimetric soil moisture measurements. Installation of a safety rail at the 30m wind tower. Cleaning of BSRN instruments. RV, RS
2014 06 Assistance with installation of FogNetz RV
2014 08 Field course MIP2014 with students from Uni Basel RV, EP, MS
2014 11 1st FogLife meeting. Maintenance and calibration tour for FogNet. Evaporation pan maintenance. RV
2015 03 Installation of station at Conception Water. FogNet maintenance tour. RV
2015 06 2nd FogLife meeting. FogNet maintenance tour. RV
2015 11 Change of data transmission from GPRS to WiFi. Maintenance trip to Conception RV, MS, AP
2016 02 Installation of station at Salt Works. Completing data transmission via WiFi for wind tower RV, MR
2016 06 Repair of access point. FogNet maintenance tour. Maintenance at Salt Works. RV, MR
2017 02 FogNet maintenance tour. Installation of visibility monitor. Installation of temp. SFC collector. Conception Water visit. Installation of IR120 at several locations RV, RS, JL
2017 07 Microlysimeter test, FOWS comparison, MIM RV, JL
2017 09 NaFoLiCa IOP RV, RS, AW, JF, JL, KIT, Uni Bonn
2018 02 NaFoLiCa, disdrometer and visibility sensor installation, replace Loggernet laptop, Conception maintenance RV, JL
2018 07 MIM 2017. Conception maintenance. Data disaster. RV, JL, students
2018 11 Power issues. Repaired GB and BSRN power supplies. General maintenance all stations at Gobabeb RV, AP
2019 02 Moved CDP from Vogelfederberg back to Gobabeb. FogNet tour. Replaced wind monitor at CM. Repaired ASPTC at the 30-m tower. RV, GB
2019 04 Took down Kahane and CDP. Shipped back Nafolica instruments.Maintenance at CW, repaired broken antenna cable. RV
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