SAON Inventory

SAON Inventory

The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.

The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.


Other catalogs through this service are AMAP, ENVINET and SEARCH, or refer to the full list of projects/activities.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 269 Next
1. GeoBasis - Zackenberg

The GeoBasis programme collects data describing the physical and geomorphological environment in Zackenberg, North East Greenland. This includes meteorology, carbon flux and energy exchange, snow cover and permafrost, soil moisture, –chemistry and nutrient balance, hydrology, river discharge and – sediment

Active layer Arctic Atmosphere carbon cycle Carbon dioxide CH4 Climate change CO2-flux measurements Energy Balance geomorphology Hydrology Hydrometeorology meteorology Permafrost Snow and ice properties snow cover Soils
2. Zackenberg Ecosystem Monitoring (ZERO) (ZERO)

The objective of the station is to facilitate ecosystem research in the High Arctic. According to the framework programme of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (ZERO) this includes: - Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes; - Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions; - Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes; - Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change. The programme is coordinated with Nuuk Ecological Research Operations (see below) within the Framework of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM). Main gaps: Winter dynamics

Soils Climate Sea ice Oceanography Ecosystems
3. Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) (GEM)

To provide the data necessary for quantifying the dynamics of arctic ecosystems, i.e. at the two field sites at respectively Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland) and Nuuk (West Greenland) Main gaps: Winter dynamics

4. Nuuk Basic Ecosystem Monitoring (NERO) (NERO)

The objective is to allow comparative studies of ecosystem dynamics in relation to climate variability and change in respectively a high arctic and low arctic setting as Nuuk Basic comprises the same components as Zackenberg. According to the framework programme of Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (ZERO) this includes: - Basic quantitative documentation of ecosystem structure and processes; - Baseline studies of intrinsic short-term and long-term variations in ecosystem functions; - Retrospective analyses of organic and inorganic material to detect past ecosystem changes; - Experimental studies enabling predictions of ecosystem responses to Global Change. The programme is coordinated with Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations (see above) within the Framework of Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM). Main gaps: Winter dynamics

Soils Climate Sea ice Oceanography Ecosystems
5. Sweden Soil and Vegetation Inventory of Arable Land

The first sampling for the soil and vegetation inventory of arable land was done in 1994-1995. The program covers arable land in Sweden and is designed to describe the state of Swedish arable land and the quality of the crop in relation to soil status, cultivation measures, and means of operation. At present soil sampling is made in 2000 fixed sampling points visited every 10th year.

Ecosystems Soils
6. Circumpolar Health Observatory [CircHOB] (CircHOB)

CircHOB is an international collaborative health information system, involved in systematic, standardized, and consistent data collection and analysis. It is population-based, and produces data for all northern regions in all circumpolar countries CircHOB’s purpose is to monitor trends and patterns in health status, health determinants, and health care, provides quantitative evidence for planning and evaluation of health programs and services. It is on-going and sustainable with periodic updates Main gaps: Data on health-related behaviours, attitudes, and practices currently available from health surveys done in various circumpolar countries and regions are not directly comparable, due to differences in the construction of variables, sampling techniques, and contextual meanings of underlying concepts. Substantial international comparative research is needed before such data can be presented. Network type: CircHOB is a flagship project of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, formed in 2009. CircHOB is a program within the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research Data Center [] CircHOB extracts relevant data from existing data sources managed by different groups and agencies in different countries, including: • National population registries, censuses and intercensal estimates • Vital statistics • Mortality/morbidity/health care utilization databases • National/regional health surveys • Statistical reports CircHOB does NOT involve access to individual-level health records nor do any such records cross national borders. It involves the preparation of tables of aggregate data only. Most data are available from websites of national statistical agencies, health ministries, etc. Many but not all sites are available in English and language proficiency in all circumpolar languages [eg. Russian, Finnish, Icelandic] is essential. Some data require special tabulations produced by host agencies

Human health
7. Meteorological observation network of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) (FMI weather station network)

Distributed network (about 180 sites over Finland). Coverage over Finland mainly according to WMO recommendations including all Finnish polar regions. Some of the stations also include automatic daily snow depth observations and soil moisture monitoring instrumentation. Network type: Automatic operational weather station observations

8. Polish Polar Station Hornsund as member of International Real-time Magnetic Observatory Network (INTERMAGNET) (Hornsund INTERMAGNET)

INTERMAGNET is global network of observatories, monitoring the Earth's magnetic field

9. Polish Polar Station Hornsund as member of International Monitor for Auroral Geomagnetic Effects (IMAGE) (Hornsund - IMAGE)

The prime objectives of IMAGE are to study auroral electrojets and moving two-dimensional current systems.

10. Polish Polar Station Hornsund as observing site of Schumann Resonance phenomenon

The network of observations of SR phenomena consists of 3 points: Hornsund (Svalbard), Belsk (Poland), Nagycenk (Hungary). The data from this network are used for scientific analysis.

Atmosphere Geophysics
11. Synoptic meteorological observations, including radiosonde observations

Weather forecasting Main gaps: These observations are operational observations of METNO

12. National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden (NILS)

NILS is a nation-wide environmental protection programme that monitors the conditions and changes in the Swedish landscape.

The programme started in 2003 and includes field inventory and aerial photo interpretation of permanent sample plots in all types of terrestrial environments.

NILS is mainly funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and an important objective is to provide information for follow-up of the Swedish national environmental objectives and the Natura 2000 network. NILS also contributes data to environmental research and international reporting.

landscape biodiversity Sweden moniroting survey
13. Marine coastal observations

Monitoring and forecast of the sea and atmosphere state in the coastal area, support of safety of navigation and marine activities. Main gaps: Initial data before 1977 have not been digitized.

Atmosphere Oceanography
14. Netherlands Arctic Station University of Groningen

This station is one of many international stations in Ny-Aalesund, Svalbard. Traditionally research has focussed on the ecology of barnacle geese. The research now includes monitoring of plant production, vegetation change, insect phenology, arctic terns, snowbuntings, barnacle geese, reindeer and arctic foxes. Regular guests are Dutch institutions for marine research like IMARES and NIOZ and researchers from NIOO and VU.

The main objective is to study adaptations to climate warming and understanding dynamics of animal and plant populations.

grazing ornithology
15. Mechanisms of fluvial transport and sediment supply to Arctic river channels with various hydrological regimes (SW Spitsbergen) (ARCTFLUX)

Fluvial transport, its dynamics and structure, constitute a good indicator of the condition of the natural environment in various climatic zones. Analysis of fluvial transport components allows for precise determination of the rate and directions of transformations of geosystems of any importance. In the polar zone, very sensitive to global changes, it seems expedient to identify the mechanisms and structure of fluvial transport, particularly in the conditions of the observed glacier retreat, the main alimentation source of proglacial rivers. Studies carried out in the zone revealed difficulties in determination of fluvial transport structure, particularly the actual bedload of gravel-bed rivers based on direct measurements, resulting from: short measurement series, lack of standardization of research methods and measurement equipment, and strategy of selection of study objects and sampling. The research project presented concerns determination of mechanisms of fluvial transport and sediment supply to Arctic gravel-bed river channels. The mechanisms reflect the processes of adaptation of proglacial rivers of the Arctic zone to changing environmental conditions, and indicate the dominant directions of transformations of paraglacial geosystems of various importance. For studies on Arctic geosystems, the region of the south Bellsund (SW Spitsbergen) was selected due to extensive knowledge on its hydro-meteorological and glacial-geomorphological conditions, and long-term measurement series carried out by the research station of the MCSU, among others within the framework of the international monitoring network: SEDIBUD (IAG) and Small-CATCHMENT program. For detailed studies, rivers with various hydrological regimes were selected, functioning at the forefield of the Scott and Renard Glaciers. The Scott River glacial catchment and glacier-free catchments of the Reindeer Stream and the Wydrzyca Stream (with a snow-permafrost hydrological regime) meet the selection criteria for representative test catchments analyzed for the following programs: SEDIFLUX, SEDIBUD, and POP.

conductivity cryosphere deposition Discharges distribution erosion freshwater freshwater flux geomorphology GIS Glaciers GPS ice thickness lidar Mapping mass balance remote-sensing riverine transport rivers runoff sediment balance surface water Water currents Water flux
16. Gammtratten IM

At present, Sweden has 4 integrated monitoring (IM) sites that are part of a European network on integrated monitoring with an extensive measurement program. One of these sites, Gammtratten, situated in central Västerbotten, monitors several variables. This program is part of the International Cooperative Programme (ICP) on Integrated Monitoring (IM) of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems In Sweden there are three IM-sites, out of which Gammtratten in northern Sweden is one. The IM program at Gammtratten is performed by a consortium including IVL, SGU and SLU-EA. Basically there are three types of monitoring at the IM-sites, viz. Climatic, Chemical and Biological observations. Below is a list of the different analysis programs Air Concentration: SO2, NO2 Bulk deposition: pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, SO4-S, CL, Ca, Mg, Na, K, (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As) Throughfall: pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, SO4-S, CL, Ca, Mg, Na, K, (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As) Soil water: pH, Cond, tot-N, org-N, NO3-N, NH4-N, Tot-P, PO4-P, DOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Al-tot, Al-org, Al-inorg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As Groundwater: All years: pH, Cond, Si, NO3-N+NO2-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, TOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk/acidity, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and some years also Hg, Metyl-Hg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As Stream water: All years pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, TOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk/acidity, tot-N, tot-C, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Fe, Mn, runoff volume and some years also Hg, Metyl-Hg, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and labile Al. Soil chemistry: pH in water extracts, exchange acidity, exchangeable Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Mn, and Fe, base saturation and total content of C, N, P, S, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and Hg Litter fall: Amount of litter (dw per unit area), total P, C, N, and S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Al, Mn, Fe and during special years also Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg Litter decomp.: Dry weight loss from standard needles of Scots pine Soil respiration: CO2 -evolution per hour at 20oC, pH, Pb, Cd, Hg in OF-layer Understorey veg.: Field vegetation: Species, coverage, fertility, trees: speecies, coordinates, dbh, heiight, vitality. Down logs and stumps: species, dbh, degree of decomposition Needle chemistry: Total-P, tot-C, tot-N, and tot-S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Al, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg, arginin Biomass: Biomass, tot-C, tot-N, tot-P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B Forest injuries: Needle loss, dicolouring of needles, other injuries, tree class Simulated water balance: Precipitation, Evaporation, Runoff, Soil water, Snow Network type: integrated monitoring

Climate Ecosystems Environmental management

1. The WMO facilitates worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for the making of meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology. Observing stations are operated by WMO Members according to agreed standards and recommended practices described in the WMO Regulatory Material, such as Technical regulations, WMO-No. 49 and its Annexes.

2. The WMO requirements for observational data are generally divided into three categories: global, regional and national. For example, surface synoptic stations are expected to report every six hours for global exchange and every three hours for regional exchange, however with higher frequency on bilateral and multilateral arrangements. The details of the observational programmes provided by all stations operated by WMO Members are given in the WMO Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool (OSCAR) and available on the WMO website at

3. The approved operational procedures and practices are given in the regularly updated Manual on the Global Observing System (WMO-No. 544), and the Manual on the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WMO-No. 1160) available also on the WMO website at and, respectively.

4. Under the Global Observing System of the World Weather Watch Programme, WMO Members operating stations in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) area (essentially includes the terrestrial and marine areas north of the Arctic Circle (66°32N), and north of 62°N in Asia and 60°N in North America, modified to include the marine areas north of the Aleutian chain, Hudson Bay, and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean including the Labrador Sea), contribute to the implementation of the observational programme by operating 336 surface Regional Basic Synoptic and 156 Regional Basic Climatological stations. A detailed infomration is available through WMO OSCAR: 

Atmosphere Climate
18. Norwegian greenhouse gas monitoring

Continuous measurements of greenhouse gases and particles to monitor changes in the atmosphere. The programme is operated by Norwegian Institute of Air Research (NILU) on behalf of Norwegian Environment Agency. The Zeppelin Observatory is a major contributor of data on a global as well as a regional scale.The programme is decribed in the link.

Aerosol Arctic haze Atmosphere CH4 chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) CO2 Halocarbons trace gases CO

Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure - ACTRIS  is a research infrastructure on the ESFRI roadmap from March 2016. ACTRIS is currently supported by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015) from 1 May 2015 to 30 April 2019.


The objectives of ACTRIS Research Infrastructure

Detecting changes and trends in atmospheric composition and understanding their impact on the stratosphere and upper troposphere is necessary for establishing the scientific links and feedbacks between climate change and atmospheric composition.

  • The primary objective of ACTRIS is to provide the 4D-variability of clouds and of the physical, optical and chemical properties of short-lived atmospheric species, from the surface throughout the troposphere to the stratosphere, with the required level of precision, coherence and integration.
  • The second objective is to provide effective access to this information and the means to more efficiently use the complex and multi-scale ACTRIS parameters serving a vast community of users working on models, satellite retrievals, and analysis and forecast systems.
  • The third objective is to raise the level of technology used in the RI and the quality of services offered to the community of users, involving partners from the private sector.
  • Finally, the fourth objective of ACTRIS is to promote training of operators and users and enhance the linkage between research, education and innovation in the field of atmospheric science.
Aerosol air pollution Arctic Arctic haze Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Climate Climate change infrastructure Long-range transport network observations database trace gases trends
20. European Monitoring and Evaluation Prgramme - EMEP

The main objective of EMEP is to provide governments with information of the deposition and concentration of air pollutants, as well as the quantity and significance of the long-range transmission of air pollutants and their fluxes across boundaries (UNECE, 2004a). The EMEP observations include measurements of species linked to acidification, eutrophication, photochemical oxidants, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and particulate matter.



acidification eurtrophication ozone POPs heavy metals short lived climate forcers