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Summary
bci

BCI (9°10'N, 79°51'W) is an island which was isolated from the surrounding mainland in 1914 following the damming of the Chagres river and the formation of Gatun Lake. The island, rising 137m above Lake Gatun, has an area of 1500 ha which are covered by forest that has remained relatively undisturbed for at least 100 years. BCI forms part of the Barro Colorado Nature Monument (BCNM). For more information about STRI facilities on BCI and the BCNM click here

The island receives an average of 2623 mm of rain per year. Day-time temperatures reach an average of 32°C, with night-time lows of approximately 23°C. The meteorological year is divided into two parts: a pronounced dry season (approximately from mid-December to the end of April), and a wet season (May to mid-December). On average, only 285 mm of rain falls during the dry season. Relative humidity, soil moisture, air pressure, solar radiation, evapotranspiration, wind speed and direction all show marked wet/dry season differences. On the other hand, temperature varies relatively little throughout the year.

There are three Physical Monitoring Stations on BCI: The Clearing (‘El Claro’), the Lutz Watershed Weir, the Lutz Tower and the Conrad Weir.

Data are collected using two different methods: electro-mechanical (electronic sensors, data loggers, chart recorders, etc.), and manual (rain gauges, max-min thermometers, sling psychrometers, soil samples, etc.) by a technician. In general, manual measurements have shown themselves to be the most accurate over the long-term. Wherever possible, parameters are measured both manually and electronically. The only exceptions to this rule are solar radiation (electronic only), estimated evapotranspiration (manual only), and gravimetric soil moisture (manual only).

For a summary of the most recent data collected, plus long-term averages report, please click on the following link:
BCI Met&Hyd Report 2016.pdf
Monthly summaries_BCI_horizontal.xlsx
Monthly summaries_BCI_vertical.xlsx


Special El Niño 2015/6 analysis: 2015_16 El Niño Analysis.xlsx

Clearing

The Clearing (or ‘El Claro’ as it is know on the island) is a small grass-covered clearing located between the edge of the forest and the foundations of several former laboratory buildings. The station was established in 1972 and was the original meteorological station managed by STRI. An older station (established in 1929 and operated by the Panama Canal Authority) is located near to the shore of Lake Gatun.

The Clearing station records both manual and electronic (tipping bucket) precipitation, manual and electronic temperature and humidity, electronic barometric pressure, as well as manual potential evapotranspiration (EtGage atmometer).

photo 1 photo 2

Sensors

Sensor manuals in .pdf format are available for download here.

Parameters Sensor Model Type Manual Methods
Barometric Pressure CS106-PTB110 Electronic cs106.pdf
Evapotranspiration ET-Gauge Manual 3710ETGauge.pdf Methods_Manual_Potential_Evapotranspiration.pdf
Temperature & RH Viasala hmp45c (discontinued)
Campbell Sci. CS215
Electronic hmp45c.pdf
cs215.pdf
Methods_Electronic_Air_Humidity.pdf
Temperature, daily Max Novalynx 210-4411 Standard Thermometer Manual Thermometer_Novalynx_MaxMin.pdf
Temperature, daily Min Novalynx 210-4411 Standard Thermometer Manual Thermometer_Novalynx_MaxMin.pdf
Temperature, Daily Max/Min Taylor Model 5458 Min/Max Thermometer Manual Thermometer_Taylor_MaxMin_5458.pdf
Rainfall Campbell Sci. TB4 tipping bucket Electronic tb4.pdf
Rainfall Novalynx rain gauge Manual Rain_gauge_Novalynx_Model_260-2510.pdf Rain_gauge_Novalynx_Model_260-2520.pdf Methods_Manual_Precipitation.pdf
Relative humidity from wet/dry bulb temperature BACHARACH Sling Psychrometer Manual Bacharach_Sling_Psychrometer1.pdf Bacharach_Sling_Psychrometer2.pdf Methods_Manual_Relative_Humidity.pdf


Electronic Data Download
Parameters Frequency Units Downloads
Air Temperature
(max, min, average)
15 min Celsius bci_elect_cl_at.zip
Barometric Pressure
(average)
15 min mmHg bci_elect_cl_bphg.zip
Rain
(total)
5 min mm bci_elect_cl_ra.zip
Relative Humidity
(max, min, average)
15 min % bci_elect_cl_rh.zip



Manual Data Download
Parameters Frequency Units Downloads
Rain
(daily total)
daily mm bci_manual_cl_ra.zip
Temperature, Daily Max/Min daily Celsius bci_manual_cl_at.zip
Evapotranspiration daily cm bci_manual_cl_evap.zip
Relative Humidity
Sling Psychrometer
daily % bci_manual_cl_rh.zip



 
Metadata Download

Metadata_BCI.txt



Lutz Watershed and Meteorological Tower
bci

The Lutz catchment is probably typical of the many small, steeply-sloped catchments draining away from the center of the island. It is located immediately east of the laboratory clearing. The steeply sloped (20-30°) catchment drains an area of 9.73 ha. The forest covering the catchment was mostly deforested during the construction of the Panama Canal around the turn of the century, but since then it has been allowed to regenerate.

Built in 1972, the Lutz tower was originally 42m in height. In October of 2001 the tower was raised to 48m due to the increase in height of the surrounding forest that happened during the previous 30 years.

The station consists of a vertical meteorological transect through the forest canopy with temperature/humidity sensors at 1, 20, 42 and 48m. . There are solar radiation sensors, an anemometer and an EtGage atmometer on the uppermost level of the tower. Manual measurements of max/min temperature and noon-time relative humidity are taken at the Lutz tower as well.

Gravimetric soil moisture samples are made at ten locations around the Lutz catchment. Soil samples are made at 0-10cm and 30-40cm at each location. Samples are taken every two weeks during the period June to November and weekly from December to May.

The V-notch weir located near the base of the tower measures the run-off from most of the Lutz creek catchment. Data are recorded using both a chart recorder and a pressure-base bubbler. Daily height recordings are made by a technician for calibration purposes.

LutzWeir LutzWeir LutzWeir LutzWeir

Sensors

Sensor manuals in .pdf format are available for download here.

Parameters Sensor Model Type Manual Methods
Evapotranspiration ET-Gauge Manual 3710ETGauge.pdf Methods_Manual_Potential_Evapotranspiration.pdf
Gravimetric Soil Moisture n/a Manual Methods_Manual_Soil_moisture.pdf
Relative humidity from wet/dry bulb temperature BACHARACH Sling Psychrometer Manual Bacharach_Sling_Psychrometer1.pdf
Bacharach_Sling_Psychrometer2.pdf
Methods_Manual_Relative_Humidity.pdf
Run-off ISCO 3230 Bubbler Flow Meter Electronic ISCO3230Bubbler.pdf Methods_Lutz_weir_runoff.pdf
Solar Radiation LiCor LI200X pyranometer Electronic li200x.pdf Methods_Electronic_Solar_Radiation.pdf
Temperature & RH Viasala hmp45c (discontinued)
CAMPBELL SCI. CS700 TIPPING BUCKET
Electronic hmp45c.pdf
cs215.pdf
Methods_Electronic_Air_Humidity.pdf
Temperature, daily
Max/Min
Novalynx 210-4411 Standard Thermometer Manual Thermometer_Novalynx_MaxMin.pdf
Temperature, daily
Min/Max
Taylor Model 5458 Min/Max Thermometer Manual Thermometer_Taylor_MaxMin_5458.pdf
Wind speed & direction Young Wind Monitor AQ Electronic Young Wind Monitor AQ.pdf Methods_Electronic_Wind_Speed_Dir.pdf
Wind passage Totalizing Anemometer
NovaLynx Model200-2510
Manual Totalizing_Anemometer_NovaLynx_Model200-2510.pdf Methods_Manual_Wind_Passage.pdf


Electronic Data Download
Parameters Frequency Units Downloads
Air Temperature 1m
(max, min, average)
15 min Celsius bci_elect_01m_at.zip
Air Temperature 20m
(max, min, average)
15 min Celsius bci_elect_20m_at.zip
Air Temperature 42m
(max, min, average)
15 min Celsius bci_elect_42m_at.zip
Air Temperature 48m
(max, min, average)
15 min Celsius bci_elect_48m_at.zip
Relative Humidity 1m
(max, min, average)
15 min % bci_elect_01m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 20m
(max, min, average)
15 min % bci_elect_20m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 42m
(max, min, average)
15 min % bci_elect_42m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 48m
(max, min, average)
15 min % bci_elect_48m_rh.zip
Solar Radiation Flux
(max, min, average)
15 min w/m2 bci_elect_48m_sr.zip
Wind Direction
(vect mean, std. deviation)
15 min degrees bci_elect_48m_wd.zip
Wind Speed
(max, min, mean horiz speed)
15 min km/hr bci_elect_48m_ws.zip
Runoff Lutz Creek
(level, flow-rate, discharge)
5 min m3 bci_elect_lutzweir.zip



Manual Data Download
Parameters Frequency Units Downloads
Temperature 1m
(Daily Max/Min)
daily Celsius bci_manual_01m_at.zip
Temperature 42m
(Daily Max/Min)
daily Celsius bci_manual_42m_at.zip
Temperature 48m
(Daily Max/Min)
daily Celsius bci_manual_48m_at.zip
Evapotranspiration 42m daily cm bci_manual_42m_evap.zip
Evapotranspiration 48m daily cm bci_manual_48m_evap.zip
Relative Humidity 1m daily % bci_manual_01m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 20m daily % bci_manual_20m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 42m daily % bci_manual_42m_rh.zip
Relative Humidity 48m daily % bci_manual_48m_rh.zip
Soil Humidity – Lutz Creek
H2O by wet, H2O by dry
1-2 weeks % bci_manual_soilh.zip



 
Conrad Weir

The Conrad catchment is a more gently sloped catchment draining much of the central area of the island, including most of the 50-ha plot. The catchment is approximately 40.2 ha in size. Unlike the Lutz catchment, the forest covering the catchment was not cut during the construction of the Panama Canal.

The weir experienced several stages of development between 1993 and 1996 as additional height and wings were added to accommodate all stages of the Conrad stream. The weir consists of a 90 degree ‘V’ set into a two-stage rectangular weir. Data are recorded by a pressure-based bubbler.

bci


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