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Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales

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ABACUS Field sites near Abisko, Sweden

The Abisko field sites. The Abisko Tundra site (site AT) coincides with the existing STEPPS site, whose flux tower can be seen in the center; it will also be used for ABACUS. The Birch Forest site (site AB) is near the small lakes just left of the tower half way down to the Torneträsk (large lake in background). Abisko Scientific Research station (ANS) at the shore of the Torneträsk near the triangular island.

We selected two field sites that represent typical vegetation types of this region as closely as possible, each sufficiently large without major qualitative change over an area of a few hundred meters (the footprint of the flux towers). The ABACUS tundra site (site AT) is also the site of the ongoing STEPPS (Snow in Tundra: Patterns, Processes and Scaling) project.

The following table gives the location of the two Abisko field sites. The latitudes, longitudes and elevation refer to the proposed location of the flux tower; other measurements will be performed in the surrounding few hundred meters. (Note: The final tower location may differ slightly).

Site Abbr. Latitude Longitude UTM (zone 34) Elevation
Abisko Birch Forest site
western forest edge
AB 68.325020°N (68°19'30''N) 18.827813°E (18°49'40''E) 0410483/7580679 520m
Abisko Birch Forest site
tower (estimated)
AB 68.325639°N (68°19'35''N) 18.833333°E (18°50'00''E) 0410712/7580739 520m
Abisko Tundra site AT 68.301790°N (68°18'07''N) 18.853610°E (18°51'16''E) 0411455/7578053 710m

This vegetation map shows the location of the two field sites (click on the image to retrieve a high-resolution version, 2060x2348, 1.03 Mb).

A sequence of images from Google-Earth with increasing resolution shows the location and gives an impression of the topography and vegetation. The white areas are clouds over the Torneträsk lake, which also cover the Research Station and the birch forest site. Click on the images for larger versions (992x716 pixels, ca. 250kb). Note: the mark for the Birch Forest Site in these images was based on outdated information, the actual site is ca 1km north-east of the mark.)

Landsat Images of the Abisko region. Left: Landsat Thematic Mapper, FCC (2/6/1992); right: Landsat ETM+ image, FCC (2/8/2001).

Abisko Birch Forest site (site AB)

Description for finding the new Abisko Birch Forest Site (AB)

The suggested new birch site is immediately northeast of the original site. The edge of the forest to walk into is at UTM 0410483/7580679. This is a location that can be seen directly northeast of you across the bog from the path just before entering the original site.
From this UTM location, walk north east (180° to fetch direction) to find a suitable point where the tower might be.
If you follow these directions, you should find the ground sloping uphill gradually, and then after 350 - 400m a small open area (rather like a boulder field with dwarf shrub heath on) and then continuous forest again for another 300 m until you reach the Abisko-Paddus path (though this latter part is much more hilly/bouldery than the first 300 - 400 m you walk through. In this later part, you are also likely to find yourself dropping down the side of a very steep hillock (e.g. 60° and 10-15m high).
In terms of finding the best area, the forest does finish not far north of this area, but it does seem relatively flatter and more homogenous against this northerly edge. It does also extend a good 200 — 300m south (i.e. towards the tundra site AT) but gets progressively more undulating and patchy.

Abisko Tundra site (site AT)

(more to follow...)

For more images or other information, please contact Stephan Matthiesen.

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Last modified: 29 Oct, 2007
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