Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut; Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat

KNMI Cabauw Observations

Observations at Cabauw are essential components of the research programme of the KNMI. The research is focussed on two major themes in climate observation, modelling and prediction.

The first theme is land atmosphere interaction with main topics:

  • surface fluxes and their relation with atmospheric and surface conditions
  • structure and processes in the stable and convective boundary layer
  • regional surface fluxes and energy budget closure

The second theme is clouds, aerosols and radiation with main topics:
  • monitor clouds, aerosols and radiation from ground and satellite, and contribute to international efforts in this field
  • perform process studies to increase understanding of cloud-aerosol-radiation interaction
  • contribute to improvement of parameterizations of cloud-radiation related processes.

In close cooperation with the modelling group new parameterizations are developed and implemented and model evaluation studies are performed with observations obtained at Cabauw.

At Cabauw a hierarchy of observational programs are running. The three main subprograms are listed below.

1) an operational program

The operational program comprises measuring profiles along the 200 m tower augmented with standard meteorological parameters like rain amount, atmospheric pressure and short wave incoming radiation. These observations are used also outside the research community (e.g. aviation and wind energy).

2) a semi-permanent observational program

The semi-permanent observational program which makes the site an atmospheric anchor station by measuring the important atmospheric energy fluxes and the parameters that significantly influence these energy fluxes in the atmospheric column over Cabauw. This program involves surface flux observations, high quality radiation measurements and ground based remote sensing observations. The role of Cabauw as an anchor station is effectuated informally through the spreading of data to various model groups over the world (e.g. ECMWF) and more formally through e.g. BSRN, CEOP (GEWEX), GRUAN and Earlinet (see also "International cooperation" ).

Through the cooperation within CESAR - Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research-, a Dutch national consortium on atmospheric research, Cabauw has become one of the most advanced atmospheric stations in Europe. The program is also important for process studies with long time scales (soil hydrology) and for statistical studies (clouds).

3) experiments and international campaigns

Shorter term experiments and international field campaigns focused on a specific research question are performed frequently at Cabauw (see "Campaigns" for a selected list of campaigns executed at Cabauw).

Page last modified on 1 April 2015