OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Mountain Meteorology

Panoramic image of red mountains in UtahAs part of the much larger MATERHORN project, NEWAg installed 5km of fiber optic cable at 2 elevations up a slope on Granite Ridge in Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.  The temperature data was used to determine the impact small terrain features have on the formation of colder microclimates within the landscape.  Features as shallow as 20cm were found to significantly influence nighttime temperatures.

24 hours of temperature data, 0.5m elevation

Above is a typical 24 hour time trace of the data.  The abrupt change in temperature around minute 600 is the local shadow front propagating from the highest elevation (longest range) to the lowest elevation (shortest range).  We analyze these signals to find local microclimates.  Some microclimates are easy to see as horizontal deep blue streaks after minute 1000.

 

Equipment disperesed in the Utah countryside with mountains in the background

Lines of fiber strung between poles in the mountainside in Utah

Line being pulled out in the Utah countryside with mountains in the distance

Research equipment set up in the Utah countryside with mountains in the distance

Research equipment set up in the Utah countryside with mountains in the distance

Chad selfie in the Biological and Ecological Engineering Hat