Data set creator(s): Mark Losleben
For data content questions, contact Niwot LTER data manager
For methodology questions, contact Jennifer Morse
INSTAAR, University of Colorado
1560 30th St., UCB 450
Boulder, CO 80309-0450
Search tips: Core Area, Discipline, Site, Variable, Investigator, Year, etc.
1. Use our data freely. All Niwot LTER data products (except some recent data sets for which metadata but not data are available) are released to the public and may be freely copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon under the condition that you provide acknowledgement as described below.
2. Give proper acknowledgement. Publications, models and data products that make use of these data sets must include proper acknowledgement, including citing data sets in a similar way to citing a journal article. See http://www.datacite.org/whycitedata). The following acknowledgment should accompany any publication or citation of these data: Logistical support and/or data were provided by the NSF supported Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research project and the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station
3. Let us know how you will use the data. The data set creators and Niwot LTER would appreciate hearing of any plans to use the data set. Consider consultation or collaboration with data set creators.
4. Although efforts have been made to ensure that these data are of the highest quality, the possibility of errors exists. Plase notify the data manager of any errors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climatological data were collected from a Niwot Ridge climate station (D1 at 3743 m) throughout the year. Parameters measured were temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, precipitation, and wind speed. The station was initially instrumented with a thermohygrograph (regularly calibrated and checked with maximum and minimum thermometers and psychrometers), which was equipped with a Bourdon tube (to measure temperature) and a banjo-spread hair element (to measure relative humidity). The thermohygrograph was situated in a white, all wood, louvered Stevenson screen which is oriented with the door facing north. The station was initially instrumented with a standard 8-inch precipitation gauge installed with the rim 1 m above ground. This gauge was not shielded prior to October 1964. A recording precipitation gauge was installed in 1965. An Alter shield and snow fence were placed around the gauge to give more accurate precipitation measurements during windy conditions. Precipitation was caught in a bucket containing ethylene glycol (to melt snow) and light oil (to prevent evaporation). As the weight of the bucket increased, a pen moved up via a spring mechanism and recorded on a rotating chart. Solar radiation was recorded on a bimetalic strip mechanical actinometer. Ninety percent of solar radiation from 360 to 2000 nm was transmitted through the instrument's glass dome. The station was initially instrumented with a totalizing anemometer (2 m height). Wind speed (peak gust) was subsequently measured with a 3-cup, AC-generating anemometer that continuously recorded onto an Esterline Angus strip chart recorder. Wind direction was recorded as a pen position on a continuously recording strip chart. The thermohygrograph, rain gauge, and actinometer all used wind-up or battery-driven clock drives that rotated the recording chart on a right cylindrical drum with a fixed period between 24 h and 861 h depending on the gears used. These clock mechanisms were virtually identical and therefore completely interchangeable among the instruments.
Study site was D1 (located on the crest of the ridge approximately 2 km east of the Continental Divide). Original data are stored with the NWT LTER data manager and at the Mountain Research Station.
1952-10-1 to 1982-12-31
air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation, precipitation
Elevation: 3750 m
Niwot Ridge (USFS - UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
Located in: USFS - UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
(Click to learn more about these locations)
More data from: D1
Core Data Set: No
Prior to the early autumn of 1989, Niwot Ridge climate data were available as hard copies (in the form of monthly summary reports) and in digital form on magnetic tapes stored in the CU Computing Center tape library. Documentation associated with the latter medium was virtually nonexistent. David Greenland (professor in Geography) had spent some time working with data from one of the tapes and had documented as best he could the contents of that particular tape. Nevertheless, there was no information anywhere that indicated how many tapes existed containing the Niwot Ridge climate data. Beth Baird, the tape librarian, assisted Rick Ingersoll in searching for all tapes listed under the names of David Greenland, Mark Losleben (climatologist), Jose Morales (assistant to the climatologist), and Margaret Eccles. The latter individual was a programmer at INSTAAR for a number of years and was chiefly responsible for writing the programs that read IBM cards containing the raw climate data and constructed the files containing the climate data. Unfortunately, there was little documentation associated with these programs and a telephone call to Ms. Eccles did not provide any additional information.
The search for tapes listed under the names above provided a list of 28 tapes. A number of these were determined to be associated with other projects (i.e., non-Niwot Ridge climate data) and the great majority were unreadable (presumably because they were 7-track as opposed to 9-track tapes). The contents of the remaining tapes were examined and are briefly described in /data1/Datman/Climdata/Magtapes/README.TXT. The files contained on these tapes were transferred via FTP to the NWT LTER server in late May and early June of 1992 and archived in that same subdirectory. The contents of this subdirectory were also archived on a cassette tape using an Exabyte tape drive.
The magnetic tape (VSN 140429 (formerly VSN 120284)) was determined to contain the most complete daily records for the Niwot Ridge climate stations and this was the source of the data which were processed here. The file on tape 140429 did not have definite field delimiters, i.e., it was obvious that in some cases adjacent fields were not separated by whitespace or any character, although there was considerable whitespace in the file because data were missing and/or fields were formatted to acommodate more characters than present. In addition, it became apparent that the file was formatted to acommodate data in fields for which there were no data. The file was examined carefully and was determined to contain the following fields: date (year0mm0dd), Julian day, station (1=A1, 2=B1, 3=C1, 4=D1, 19=Saddle), maximum temperature, minimum temperature, mean temperature, field to indicate whether some or all temperature data were missing, maximum relative humidity, minimum relative humidity, mean relative humidity, field to indicate whether some or all relative humidity data were missing, total solar radiation, percent of maximum solar radiation possible, field to indicate whether some or all of solar radiation data were missing, precipitation, precipitation qualifier, unknown #1, field to indicate whether some or all of unknown #1 data were missing, maximum wind speed, field to indicate whether maximum wind speed data were missing, mean wind speed, field to indicate whether mean wind speed data were missing, unknown #2, field to indicate whether some or all of unknown #2 data were missing, wind direction, field to indicate whether wind direction data were missing, maximum barometric pressure, minimum barometric pressure, mean barometric pressure, field to indicate whether some or all barometric pressure data were missing, unknown #3, and field to indicate whether some or all of unknown #3 data were missing.
In general, the fields designated as indicators of missing data contained a 9 if data were missing or nothing if the data were not missing. The fields in which data could not be found were listed as unknown, and a script was written to search these fields to ensure that they did not, in fact, contain any data.
The unknown fields were deleted from the copy of the file that was to become the data section for the current file, since those fields did not contain any data. In addition, the file was converted to a comma-delimited one and, consequently, the fields containing a 9 as a missing value indicator for other fields were unnecessary and were deleted, with the exception of the field for indication of missing precipitation data. Field 17 was not removed because careful examination showed that it could contain a 3 (indicative that precipitation data for a >24-hr period existed that included that day) or a 4 (indicative that the precipitation recorded for that day represented precipitation for a >24-hr period), as well as a 9 or nothing.
It should be noted that a few inconsistencies in the way missing daily solar radiation and precipitation data were represented have been discovered for the D1 data extracted from the file on magnetic tape 140429. The implication is that the data contained in the file on tape 140429 have more than a single source and/or have been modified to unknown degrees. For these reasons, the user is cautioned about the reliability of the data in this file and should make use of the other available data sources before using these data.
Four columns (wind direction, max barometric pressure, min barometric
pressure, avg barometric pressure) which had been present in these
data were removed in 2015 because they had no content.
Metadata for D1 climatological data from other sources can be found in the files:
climate, weather, meteorology, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, precipitation, wind speed, D1, Niwot Ridge LTER, NWT, climatology, chart recorder, long term
COL1. label=date, type=string, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=1952-10-01, maximum=1982-12-31, precision=, definition=date (yyyy-mm-dd)
COL2. label=year, type=integer, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=1952, maximum=1982, precision=l, definition=year
COL3. label=jday, type=integer, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=0, maximum=366, precision=1, definition=Julian day
COL4. label=sta_code, type=integer, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=4, maximum=4, precision=, definition=station code (4=D1)
COL5. label=airtemp_max, type=real, units=celsius, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=maximum air temperature
COL6. label=airtemp_min, type=real, units=celsius, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=minimum air temperature
COL7. label=airtemp_avg, type=real, units=celsius, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=average air temperature
COL8. label=rh_max, type=real, units=percent, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=maximum relative humidity
COL9. label=rh_min, type=real, units=percent, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=minimum relative humidity
COL10. label=rh_avg, type=real, units=percent, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=average relative humidity
COL11. label=ws_max, type=real, units=meterPerSecond, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=maximum wind speed
COL12. label=ws_scal_avg, type=real, units=meterPerSecond, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=scalar average wind speed
COL13. label=wd_card, type=string, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=wind direction as cardinal direction
COL14. label=solrad_tot, type=real, units=langley, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=total solar radiation in langleys
COL15. label=solrad_%poss, type=real, units=percent, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=solar radiation as percent of total possible
COL16. label=precip, type=integer, units=millimeter, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=0, maximum=, precision=, definition=precipitation
COL17. label=qcode, type=integer, units=none, missing value indicator=NaN, minimum=, maximum=, precision=, definition=qualifying code for precipitation
*Note: To ask a question about data content, please contact the data manager HERE
To ask a question about methodology, please contact Jennifer Morse,
Marr, J.W. 1967. Data on mountain environments. I. Front Range, Colorado, sixteen sites, 1952-1953. University of Colorado Studies, Series in Biology 27, 110 pp.
Marr, J.W., A.W. Johnson, W.S. Osburn, and O.A. Knorr. 1968. Data on mountain environments. II. Front Range, Colorado, four climax regions, 1953-1958. University of Colorado Studies, Series in Biology 28, 169 pp.
Marr, J.W., J.M. Clark, W.S. Osburn, and M.W. Paddock. 1968. Data on mountain environments. III. Front Range, Colorado, four climax regions, 1959-1964. University of Colorado Studies, Series in Biology 29, 181 pp.
Barry, R.G. 1972. Climatic environment of the East Slope of the Colorado Front Range. University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Occasional Paper 3, 206 pp.
Barry, R.G. 1973. A climatological transect on the East Slope of the Front Range, Colorado. Arctic and Alpine Research 5(2):89-110.
]Diaz, H.F., R.G. Barry, and G. Kiladis. 1982. Climatic characteristics of the Pike's Peak, Colorado (1874-1888) and comparisons with other Colorado stations. Mountain Research and Development 2: 359-371.
Losleben, M.V. 1983. Climatological data from Niwot Ridge, East Slope, Front Range, Colorado, 1970-1982. University of Colorado Long-Term Ecological Research Data Report 83/10. 193 pp.
Barry, R.G. 1985. Growing season temperature characteristics, Niwot Ridge and the east slope of the Front Range, Colorado. University of Colorado Long-Term Ecological Data Report 85/6. 52 pp.
Barry, R.G. 1986. Mountain climate data for long-term ecological research. Pp 170-187 In: Proceedings of International Symposium on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and Mountain Meteorology, 20-24 March 1984, Beijing, China. Boston: American Meteorological Society.
Greenland, D. 1987. The climate of Niwot Ridge. University of Colorado Long-Term Ecological Research Data Report 87/7. 57 pp.
Halfpenny, J.C., and J. Clark. 1988. Climate calendars. BioScience 38:399-405.
Greenland, D. 1989. The climate of Niwot Ridge, Front Range, Colorado, U.S.A. Arctic and Alpine Research 21: 380-391.
The documentation section of this file was developed from the NWT LTER Data Directory (Symphony files DDABSTRA.WR1, DDDOCUME.WR1, DDMASTER.WR1, DDVARIAB.WR1; last updated 16 December 1991) by Susan Kindig and Rick Ingersoll in mid-February 1993. Additional information for the documentation section was added by Rick Ingersoll (some of which was extracted from Barry (1973) and Losleben (1983)), data were appended to the data section, and the file was put under sccs control on 7 June 1994. [RCI 7 June 1994] URL locations for related data were updated on 26 September 2000.[MAH 26 September 2000] Four empty columns were removed from the data, labels were shortened, and definitions added.[HCH 21 August 2015] Columns were rearranged to fit default column order.[HCH 13 February 2016] Temperature units changed to celsius.[HCH 27 April 2017]
Losleben, Mark. 2018. Climate data for D1 chart recorder from 1952-10-1 to 1982-12-31, daily. http://niwot.colorado.edu
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-1637686. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necesarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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