Energy balance measurements in the Namib desert. Started August 1, 2009.
NAmibia FOg Life Cycle Analysis - Researching the dynamics and effects of fog in the Namib
URBANFLUXES stands for "URBan ANthrpogenic heat FLUX from Earth observation Satellites" and is a Horizon 2020 funded space research project, coordinated by the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece).
Exploiting earth observation in sustainable urban planning & management
Contribution of the University of Basel towards the "Meteorological measurements in the Barringer Meteor Crater" project for the examination of downslope windstorm-type flows.
Urban climate study of Bucharest, Romania.
BRIDGE is a joint effort of 14 European Organizations aiming at incorporating sustainability aspects in urban planning processes, accounting for some well recognised relations between urban metabolism and urban structure. The local measurement program consist of an additional street canyon tower and an additional flux site.
The Hyper-Swiss-Net project aims at developing and supporting the scientific expertise and infrastructure in Switzerland for the exploitation of imaging spectrometry technology for different Earth observation applications
Investigation of birch pollen production and emission by combining experimental and modeling work in order to quantify the released pollen in relation to turbulence characteristics and micrometeorological parameters around a pollen source.
Former projects
A list of former projects of the MCR Unibas

sunset over Bucharest
no taxi

Urban climate study of Bucharest

Project Summary

The urban climate study of Bucharest is a joint Romanian-Swiss Research Project (RSRP) conducted by the University of Basel (UB) and the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (UTCB).

It combines boundary layer meteorology measurements, numerical modelling and remote sensing on the Swiss side (Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, MCR-Lab) and regional development, civil engineering as well as Geographic Information System (GIS) and spatial data analysis of satellite data on the Romanian side (Urban Engineering and Regional Development Department, UTCB).

The aim of the project is to integrate basic research on the urban climate and air pollution of the Bucharest region, analysis of time series of spatially distributed data from satellites, the application of the results for urban and regional planning, and the transfer and implementation of methodologies and spatially distributed data for local planning authorities.

Aims & objectives

  1. to investigate how the Romanian Revolution in 1989 has changed the environmental situation and the urban climate in Bucharest over the last 30-40 years by means of satellite data analysis
  2. to study the on-going meteorological processes by direct measurements of radiation and heat fluxes at 2 micrometeorological flux towers within the city area covering different types of land cover
  3. to apply a method widely used in many western countries like Switzerland, Germany or in East Asia to transfer the results of complex meteorological measurements and data into information required and used by local and regional planning authorities
  4. to simulate potential urban scenarios using numerical urban climate models like ENVI-met to improve urban climate, urban comfort, air pollution and health.

tower installation team ..

.. hard at work ..

.. and finished!

CNR4 net radiometer

Micrometeorological Measurements

Station Setup

The micrometeorological measurements carried out by the MCR-Lab consist of two flux towers located in the city of Bucharest. Both stations are equipped with the same setup, to measure energy fluxes and basic meteorological quantities:

Radiation Balance

The individual components of the radiation balance (Rn), namely global radiation (SD), reflected radiation (SU), atmospheric radiation (LD) and terrestrial radiation (LU), are measured by a Kipp&Zonen CNR4 Net Radiometer. All terms are in W/m-2. If the components are balanced, one derives the radiation balance

Rn = SD - SU + LD - LU

Energy Balance

As a basic principle the Surface Energy Balance (SEB) can be drawn as

Rn + G = H + LE

where G is the soil heat flux, H is the sensible heat flux and LE is the latent heat flux. All terms are in W/m-2. Of course, in a complex environment like an urban area, other heat fluxes e.g. from combustion, traffic or heating have to be considered as well. Sensible heat and latent heat are calculated by the Eddy-Covariance (EC) Method with data from a Campbell Scientific Irgason.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a good tracer for monitoring activity of vegetation (sink) and human activities e.g. traffic (source) in urban areas. Generally it can be expected, that the CO2 flux is directly linked to the diurnal cycle of traffic, which means high fluxes during daytime and smaller fluxes during nighttime. The concentration of CO2 behaves opposite, which is mainly due to small vertical extension of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) during the night (high concentration) and large vertical extension during the day (well mixed, lower concentrations). The concentration and the flux of CO2 respectively are measured by a Campbell Scientific Irgason.

General Meteorology

To monitor the general meteorological conditions, basic meteorological quantities are measured as well. This is done by a Vaisala WXT 520 Weather Transmitter which records air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speed, wind direction as well as precipitation.

Panorama-View from the C7 site
C7 roof top..
.. with "monitoring equipment" and clouds up in the sky

the "leaning" firetower

fire extinguisher

Measurement Sites:

Caminul 7 44°27'36.76"N / 26° 7'17.38"E

Caminul 7 (C7) is a students hostel located in the northeast of Bucharest, which is a ten story building 120m a.s.l. with a height of approximately 32m from street level. On top of the building a 12m flux tower was erected to reliably represent the surrounding area with a radius of several hundred meters. C7 is located in a residential area with ten story buildings to the East and the South and some lower one or two story houses to the West. The station is operational since 29th of May 2014 and data is directly collected via Internet.

Current data are shown here. (no actual data at the moment due to connection problems)

Firetower 44°26'24.84"N / 26° 7'14.68"E

The Firetower (FT) is located on a crossroad in the center of Bucharest. The building was former used as a fire monitoring tower and nowadays acts as a museum of the fire brigade.

This site has been discontinued