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NEON Sampling Boundaries
Tower Airshed Boundary
This map depicts the spatial layout of this field site. Please note that some locations may have moved over time due to logistics, safety and science requirements.
This map was updated on January 11, 2019
Construction Status for this Site
NEON’s Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) tower stands 12 km south of Estes Park, Colorado, representing a growing mosaic of urban and exurban areas. While the property is owned by RMNP, it is not contiguous with the core park boundaries.
As a mid-elevation site (2,750 m) on the east side of the Continental Divide, the site is aptly situated to investigate the chemical climate (i.e., pollution) generated along the Front Range as well as dust deposition produced and transported from the Great Basin to higher elevations. This is a particularly salient issue given recent estimates which project that an additional two million residents will inhabit the Front Range in twenty years.
Total data products planned for this site: 116
Site Host & Access Site Host:
National Park Service
Is additional non-NEON research allowed at this site?:
Limited. At this time, the site host will allow a limited amount of non-NEON research activities in this area at their discretion. Researchers must obtain their own permits with the site host(s).
Site Characteristics Latitude/Longitude:40.27591, -105.54592 Elevation:2743 m Mean Annual Temperature:4C/39.2F Mean Annual Precipitation:520 mm Dominant NLCD Classes:
Conversion of native vegetation to urban and suburban landscapes drastically alters biological diversity, reduces soil organic matter, and alters the distribution of plant biomass over time and space. Yet little is known about the ecosystem processes (e.g., carbon fluxes, nutrient dynamics) associated with residential land cover within this domain. As such, NEON has intentionally positioned the tower adjacent to the Clean Air Status and Trends Network site, 300 m towards the north, which is hosted by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service along with numerous other Federal, local, tribal and university partners.
The site receives an average of 532 mm of precipitation annually, holds an average annual high temperature of 12.0°C and an average annual low temperature of -3.4°C. Elk (Cervus Canadensis) frequent the area under the mixed pine forest canopy of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).
Granite and granodiorite. Mesoproterozoic.
USGS HUC: h10190005
Dominant Phenology Species:
Pinus contorta var. latifolia, Abies lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa, Juniperus communis var. depressa
Mean Canopy Height:
The mean canopy height is 19'.
Loamy, skeletal, mixed, superactive. Ustic Haplocryolls.
Data Collection Types
Airborne Remote Sensing Surveys
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
The flux/meteorological tower at this site is 81’ with 5 measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data may be collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower, a Double Fence Intercomparison Reference (DFIR) near the tower, and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
This site has one phenocam on the top of the flux tower and one near the bottom of the tower.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. The following measurements may be collected at the soil surface in each soil plot:
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface
Soil heat flux
The following measurements are collected at multiple depths in each soil plot:
Field ecologists collect the following types of observational data at this site:
Other Domain 10 Field Sites
Core Terrestrial | Colorado
Distance: 56 mi.
Relocatable Terrestrial | Colorado
Distance: 133 mi.
Core Aquatic | Wadeable Stream | Colorado
Distance: 168 mi.
Field Operations Office
1685 38th Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301