Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO)
Core Data
Hosting Legal Entity
University of York
National Centre for Atmospheric Science
National Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics
Max Planck Society
Leibniz Association
Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory, Calhau (Cape Verde)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
United Kingdom
Current Status:
Operational since 2006
Scientific Description
Mission and objectives
The Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) is part of a bilateral German-UK initiative to undertake long-term ground- and ocean-based observations in the tropical Eastern North Atlantic Ocean region. The CVAO exists to advance understanding of climatically-significant interactions between the atmosphere and ocean and to provide a regional focal point and long-term data context for field campaigns. Measurements of O3, CO, NO, NO2, NOy and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) began at the site in October 2006. Chemical characterisation of aerosol measurements and flask sampling of greenhouse gases began in November 2006, halocarbon measurements in May 2007, and physical measurements of aerosol in June 2008. On-line measurements of greenhouse gases began in October 2008.The CVAO is a World Meteorological Organisation-Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO-GAW) global station and quality-assured atmospheric data for use by the international scientific community are regularly deposited at both the WMO-GAW and British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) data archives.

RI Keywords
Boundary layer, Trace gases, Greenhouse gases, Marine, Aerosols, Monitoring, Atmospheric, Tropical
RI Category
Atmospheric Measurement Facilities
Scientific Domain
Earth and Environmental Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Access to the CVAO

Users are invited to apply for access to the CVAO through the Atmospheric Measurement Facility or by contacting Katie Read, to deploy additional instrumentation at the site.

Longterm datasets

Data from the CVAO is available for download through the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) or through the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases (WDCGG).

Greenhouse gas instrumentation

Instrumentation to measure CO2, CH4, O2, N2, SF6, N2O, CO.

Aerosol Instrumentation

Instrumentation to measure physical and chemical parameters of aerosol.

Trace gas instrumentation

Instrumentation to measure ozone, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, halocarbons, total gaseous mercury.


10m tower, 30m tower, air conditioned laboratories.

Meteorological instrumentation

Wind speed, wind direction, temperature, relative humidity, pressure at 7.5m and 30m. Rainfall at 30m, Solar radiation at 7.5m.

Additional Data