European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research is an Integrated Infrastructures Initiative funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). It involves integrating atmospheric aerosol measurements throughout Europe by setting a network of 20 ground-based stations (supersites).
Before the EUSAAR project, aerosol measurements were only carried out in a few regional stations, providing a limited (regional) scope. Moreover, only regulated aerosol compounds were provided in a coherent manner, and information about non-regulated compounds was obtained without attending to any protocol. EUSAAR initiative aims to coordinate measurements regarding these non-regulated compounds and their properties, since they are necessary for modelling
long-term changes in air quality and connecting aerosol features with climate change. Lack of information deals with:
- Aerosol composition, discriminating organic and inorganic fractions,
- Size and mass distribution,
- Light scattering and adsorption properties, and
- Vertical profiles.
The following infrastructures take part of this initiative:
- Aspvreten, a Swedish station placed in a boreal forest that is representative for the regional background in Mid-Sweden. It provides information about the physical and chemical properties of the aerosol, which is continuously published on the web.
- BEO Mussala, a Bulgarian station located in a mountain. The surrounding air is representative of synoptic scale atmospheric composition of the natural free-tropospheric background. The station is equipped with instruments for measuring O3, NOx, meteorogical parameters, radioactive aerosols, heavy metals and other toxic compounds.
- Birkenes atmospheric research station, located in South Norway and running since 1971. It focuses on meteorological conditions, measures main inorganic components, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, ozone, VOC and particles.
- Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR), situated in a rural area in Netherlands. It receives air mass currents from several sources, from cities to seas.
- Finokalia station, located in Crete. It records ozone, oxidants, aerosol chemical composition and precipitation chemistry. The air is representative of synoptic scale atmospheric composition.
- Harwell station, a rural English station where air has contributions from London depending on the dominant wind. Gas phase (O3, NOx, SO2) and particulate pollutants are continuously monitored there.
- The high Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch, located in a representative place of Switzerland, determines the background above a continental area. It is used to analyse cloud-aerosol interactions, since the station is often within clouds.
- The JRC-Ispra atmospheric research station, in Italy, which carries out continuous measurements of gaseous and particulate species. It is placed near local sources of pollution.
- K-puszta station, based in Hungary and far from anthropogenic sources. Air analysis is representative of the Central-Eastern European regional conditions.
- Mace Head (Ireland) has open exposure to the North Atlantic Ocean and is representative of relatively clean background marine air. It is equipped with advanced instruments for in-situ gaseous, aerosol particulate and radioactive measurements.
- The IFT-Melpitz atmospheric research station (Germany) has meteorological and continuous gas and particulate aerosol measurement devices. Its air is rural but polluted.
- Montseny station, in Spain, has clean air representative of regional background. The station is specialized in particulate matter measurements (PM10 and PM2.5).
- Mount Cimone Station located south of the Alps and of the Po Basin, is a strategic place to study the chemical-physical characteristics of the free troposphere in the Southern Europe and Northern Mediterranean area.
- Observatory Ko¨etice, in Czech Republic, is situated in the countryside, far from local pollution sources. Gaseous pollutants (especially aldehydes, ketones, VOCs, and POPs) and PM are monitored there.
- The station Pallas is in the northern border of the boreal forest zone in Europe. The area is frequently cloudy, allowing measuring of cloud microphysical and chemical parameters.
- Puy de Dôme station provides information about the synoptic-scale atmospheric composition of the regional (polluted) atmospheric region.
- Preila environmental pollution research station, in western Lithuania, provides accurate information about marine and sub-marine climate aerosol pollution.
- The Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations of Hyytiälä (Finland) represents typical background conditions of higher latitudes of Europe, with air masses that sometimes are polluted through flows coming from Europe, but sometimes has clean air coming from the Artic zone.
- The station of Vavihill, in Sweden, is a continental site with no local sources of pollution. It is used to study the influence of European polluted air on Scandinavian countries.
- The Zeppelin International Research and Monitoring Facility is one of the few European Arctic atmospheric remote stations with highly relevant long-term monitoring data series.
This complex infrastructure has been successfully used to consolidate air pollution monitoring activities across Europe, also providing support to new related projects. For example, EUCAARI used some of the existing infrastructures from EUSAAR to compare air field measurements with model estimations and ground-based measurements.
EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research) website