Airborne Carbon in the Mountains Experiment

05/14/2004 - 08/02/2004
Project Location
Colorado Front Range

The Airborne Carbon in the Mountains Experiment (ACME04) was the first aircraft field campaign of a program supported by the NSF Biocomplexity Program and NASA Interdisciplinary Science. Field operations took place in the Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains from May to August, 2004. The goal of the project is to understand carbon dynamics in montane forest regions by developing new methods for estimating carbon exchange at local to regional scales.

The project makes measurements at the stand scale using eddy covariance, small catchment or "carbonshed" scale using measurements of CO2 concentrations within local airsheds, and regional scales using measurements of CO2 and other species from aircraft. The multi-scaled flux measurements are coordinated with a long-term ongoing program of carbon measurements and ecosystem process studies. The studies will help define differences between surface exchange of carbon in mountainous and flat landscapes to better understand the significance and contribution of mountain areas to the continental carbon budget.