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Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales

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ABACUS Field sites near Kevo, Finland


The Kevo field sites. The wetland site is in the center of this image, the birch forest site in the forest on the right.

Two field sites (wetland and birch forest) were selected in the northernmost Finnish province of Lappi (Finnish Lapland), approximately 50km south of the Kevo Subarctic Research Station (Turku University).

The sites lie in the sub-arctic forest-tundra zone north of the permanent pine forest tree line in the biological province of Inari Lapland. The region is characterised by a mixture of lakes, wetland (mires, bogs), birch forests and some pine forests (mainly in the valleys). With an annual mean of -2° (January: -16°; July: 13°), there is no continuous permafrost, although some ice features (e.g. palsa mounds) can be found. The Website of the Kevo Research Station gives further details on the geology and biogeography.

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). For practical reasons, sites are close to the road between Utsjoki and Inari.

The following table gives the location of the two Kevo 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 35) Elevation
Kevo birch forest site KB 69.491620°N 27.234100°E 0509153/7709199 255m
Kevo wetland site KW 69.494330°N 27.230430°E 0509008/7709500 251m


A sequence of images from Google-Earth with increasing resolution shows the location and gives an impression of the topography and vegetation (click on the images for larger versions; 992x716 pixels, ca. 250kb).


Landsat ETM+ Image of the Kevo region, FCC (2/6/1992).

Kevo birch forest site (site KB)

The ABACUS Kevo birch forest site (KB) is located in a typical low-density forest of mountain birches (Betula pubescens).


The ABACUS team at the Kevo birch forest site (KB), approximately at the proposed location of the flux tower (in the first image from left: Phil Lewis, Mathias Disney, Bob Baxter, Richard Harding, Colin Lloyd, Matteo Detto, and some more team members behind a birch).


Between the sparse, polycormic (multi-stemmed) birch trees, the ground is covered by a pattern of brighter patches dominated by lichen and darker patches of Vaccinium sp. (bilberries, blueberries and related species), with some mosses, grasses and other plants present.


More detailed view of lichen, Vaccinium sp. and other plants that are typical for Arctic birch forests.

Kevo wetland site (site KW)

(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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