NCU Atmospheric and Hydrological Observatories (NAHOs)


24° 58' 3.81" N, 121° 11' 6.6876" E
Brief Site Description: 
Integrated atmospheric, hydrological, and geophysical monitoring pilot site
Detailed Site Description: 

Locating in the deformation fronts, the intensive land processes have created landscape diversity over the island of Taiwan. The land processes and geomorphology associate with the climate variations, land-use dynamics, and water resources allocation can further enhance the complexity of land surface water, heat and mass interactions. Reservoir Shihmen has been operated over 50 years and is located at the upstream of Daham River. A total of 55% reservoir outflow is allocated out of the Daham River Basin to support irrigation and industrial/domestic water usages at the
Taoyuan tableland. The trans-basin water allocation and thousands of irrigation ponds over the Taoyuan tableland create unique landscape characteristics in northern Taiwan. Such intensively managed landscapes, regions of significant land use change, serve as sources of economic prosperity. However, the intensity of land use change is responsible for unintended deterioration of our land and water environments. Understanding the dynamics of water, heat, and mass interactions and dynamics in the area is fundamental to clarify the influences of climate variations and land use activity on land surface processes. The interdisciplinary research project links the research efforts in the fields of hydrology, atmospheric, geology, and geophysical sciences. Six tasks were initiated as the following,
Task 1: Identify the effects of water allocation and management on landscape evolution and variations in watershed characteristics.
Task 2: Assess the variations in land surface and atmospheric processes triggered by intensive reservoir operations and the fallow land policy.
Task 3: Monitor the dynamics of near-surface water and energy fluxes in the tableland area by using timelapse geophysical techniques.
Task 4: Estimate the transport of sediment yield in the river basin with reservoir and artificial pond operations.
Task 5: Monitor and simulate the dynamics of heat and water exchanges between the atmosphere and land surface with varied groundwater levels in the tableland area.
Task 6: Develop international collaboration and provide platform to connect to CZO networks

The NCU campus site is the first observatory established for our NCU Atmospheric and Hydrological Observatories (NAHOs) to provide testing and practicing of different monitoring techniques for transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies. The location of NAHO is suited between developed urban area and paddy/pond area. We established a variety of monitoring capacities, including atmospheric, hydrological, and geophysical measurements, to support transdiciplinary critical zone studies with real-time filed observations.

The NAHOs equipped with wide-range automatic weather sensors to provide high quality of meteorological measurements, including station pressure, wind at 10 meter, wind, temperature, RH, longwave up/down radiation, shortwave up/down radiation at 2m, evaporation, rainfall, wet deposition, all sky image and so on. All automatic measurements record in one-minute time interval. A team of students is also recording sky condition, clouds, and visibility in daily-based. All data is going to real-time display on the NAHO website, which will be announced in the end of 2018.

Surface and subsurface measurements involve 7 monitoring wells, soil moisture (multiple depths), tensiometer (multiple depths), soil temperature (multiple depths), and soil heat flux. Electrical resistivity monitoring was installed to provide continuing images of subsurface variations. Our study also focuses on monitoring near surface heat variations in wells and shallow soils at NAHOs site. The observations of natural heat variations enable the assessments of heat and water exchanges across interfaces of air, soil, and groundwater. Artificial heat sources applied to the well field aims to develop efficient heat tomographic surveys for estimating high-resolution heat conductivity in shallow aquifer systems.

We would like to invite international scientists for any possible collaborations to future exploring impacts of complex hydrological connections on land/atmosphere interactions, water resources, micrometeology, and other concerned feedback.

Field Site Type: 
Study Start Date: 
2018 to 2021
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
1 800 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
Average Summer Temperature: 
Average Winter Temperature: 
Land Cover: 
unconsolidated materials
other sedimentary
Soil Order: 
Hydrology: Name: 
Laojie Creek
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
Second Order
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Arrangment of Aquifer Components - Single, dominant unconfined aquifer
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users