Research Center
Whiteface Mountain Observatory

Since 1961 the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center has operated this field station (see Archive). Whiteface Mountain, NY (44.4° N, 73.9° W) is a rural mountain top site located in the Adirondack mountains of northern New York at a elevation of 1500 m (~ 90 m above the tree line). The mountain is a tourist attraction and open to the public from approximately April through October.

The main facility is located at 600 m msl on a shoulder of Whiteface Mountain properly known as Marble Mountain and includes extensive laboratory and instrument space, offices, and a lecture hall. At the summit of Whiteface Mountain (1500 m) ASRC maintains a three-story observatory. The summit building which sits atop Whiteface Mountain is reached via a 426 ft long access tunnel dug approximately into the center of the mountain and met by an elevator which is 276 ft in height. The tunnel entrance is from the summit parking lot, an area accessible by a paved controlled access highway.

Although Whiteface Mountain is not high by western U.S. standards, the summit is located above the timberline and experiences most of the unusual and interesting weather phenomena which occur at much higher elevations.

WhiteFace Mountain measurement site

The Observatory at Whiteface Mountain is home to a large array of instruments. Many of these measure chemical species both in the gas phase and dissolved in cloud, fog and rain water. The Whiteface Mountain continuous surface ozone measurements provide one of the longest continuous records of ozone. Many researchers use this data to examine changes in that critical species (see Air Quality). Also other other gas species are measured, such as carbon monoxide and various nitrogen oxids. Further, hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyd as well as hydrocarbons are monitored. White Face Mountain is also a measurement site in the PMCTA program in order to collect data about PM mass and composition.