An Expedition to Canada’s Highest Weather Station at Mount Logan

At an elevation of 5,959 meters (19,551 feet), Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America. Its extraordinary topography and almost 300 meters thick ice sheet provide unique insights into our planet’s climate. Since May 2021, an automated weather station provides invaluable data from the summit plateau. The heart of the station is an extremely robust datalogger from OTT HydroMet.

Only few scientists have the chance – and the constitution – to do their research in places like Mount Logan. One of them is Dr. Alison Criscitiello, National Geographic Explorer and Director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab at the University of Alberta.

Mount Logan’s ice sheet contains thousands of years worth of data

According to an article recently published by National Geographic, Dr. Criscitiello’s team of six high-alpine scientists aims to “retrieve a 250-300 meter (~900 foot) deep ice core that will likely provide an exceptionally well-preserved climate record, containing tens of thousands of years’ worth of data including records of past temperature, nearby sea surface conditions, volcanic ash fallout, and wildfire history. An analysis of this ice core data will also reveal how climate change is impacting even the world’s highest peaks.”

After one year in operation and providing real-time data on air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and wind speed and direction, the weather station is now being revisited and checked by the scientists.

OTT HydroMet datalogger defies extreme conditions

“It is a pretty cool application,” says Chris Barteaux, OTT HydroMet’s Sales Manager in Canada. “The station’s core element is a Sutron XLink 500 datalogger with Iridium satellite communication datalogger, that is working well after defying temperatures of down to -50 degrees Celsius and strong winds blowing with a speed of up to 240 km per hour.”

Sutron’s XLink product family offers a cost-effective Wi-Fi enabled datalogger with data transmission via Iridium or Cellular. Ideal for use with multiple digital and analog sensors supporting basic or advanced monitoring applications.

The XLink 500 is storing and transmitting the measurement data via the Sutron Hydromet Cloud Software. Based on that, the weather station is a valuable open source of information for local communities, climbers, pilots, and scientists. It proved as important that the one-year permit from Parks Canada and the local First Nations to operate the weather station has been extended to five years.

Sutron is one of OTT HydroMet’s strong brands for professional environmental monitoring.

As a leading provider of environmental monitoring solutions, OTT HydroMet knows a thing or two about meteorological and climatological measurements. If you want to learn more about our comprehensive monitoring portfolio and how it can help you to reliably collect the environmental data you need, reach out to our technical experts. In the box below, we put together a selection of articles on recent research projects that include sensors and/or software from OTT HydroMet.

Further reading

 

About Perpetual Plant Expeditions

The National Geographic and Rolex partnership supports expeditions to explore the planet’s most critical environments. By harnessing world-renowned scientific expertise and cutting-edge technology that reveal new insights about the systems that are vital to life on Earth, these expeditions help scientists, decision-makers, and local communities plan for and find solutions to the impacts of climate and environmental change while illuminating the wonder of our world through impactful storytelling.

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