Beacon Valley Meteorological Station Daily Averages (2000-2012)


As part of the Long Term Ecological Research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, meteorological data are collected from various locations throughout the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. These files contain data for the Beacon Valley Meteorological Station daily averages, as derived from the 15-min data.  Data gaps in 15 minute data were not filled to produce this dataset.  Beacon Valley Meteorological Station ceased operations in the 2012 season.

Dataset ID: 


Short name: 

BENM Daily Averages

Data sources: 



The Beacon Valley meteorological station was added to the McMurdo Dry Valley network in the 2000-2001 field season. It was established in Beacon Valley. The station was set up to sample sensors every 30 seconds and send summary statistics (for example, averages and maximums) to solid-state storage modules every 15 minutes. This has resulted in approximately 20 values being recorded for final storage in every output interval.


On February 12, 2003, wind direction (WDIR) values were corrected by Thomas Nylen for a systematic error in the measurement created by improper wiring. The wind sensor still worked, but the values were systematically off. The wind direction is off by 180 degrees and mirrored around the north-south axis. For example a wind direction of 160 degrees was corrected by adding 180 degrees to it (340 or -20) and takING the mirror value of that, i.e. 20 degrees. Beacon ceases operations in 2012/2013 season Andrew Fountain: First, the station was installed to support the soil experiments in Beacon that are no longer being conducted, so its original purpose no longer supports its operation. Second, the station is costly in terms of helicopter hours that could be better spent in maintaining the stations in the valleys in which we work particularly our expansion into Miers. Third, the current met station at Lake Hoare, our longest running station in the valleys, is endangered by rising lake levels. It has perhaps another year or two at most given current rates of increase. To plan for its removal to a new spot, we need to erect a new station at a new site close by (selection is underway) and have the two stations run simultaneously for a year or so to characterize the small meteorological differences between sites. We do not have another station to do that and propose to move the Beacon Station to Hoare. Finally, Beacon Valley may be the best monitored valley in the region for air temperature and other met variables because of other projects including Sletten, Marchant, and MacKay. Sletten's station in Beacon is not far from ours, it has a relatively long data record, and I'm sure we could use his data if needed.

Additional information: 

Meteorological data is collected year-round at each of the stations in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. After retrieving this data (usually every January), the parameters that are recorded are processed from level 0 (raw) to level 1 (processed, provided on the web). The raw data file descriptions and task lists summarize what was done to get from level 0 to level 1for all station found at the following address: http://www.mcmlter.org/data/meteorology/tasks/task_lists.htm


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