Atmospheric Processes

APT01 Daily precipitation amounts measured at multiple sites across konza prairie


Data set contains daily records of precipitation on 10 raingauges at 10 sites on Konza Prairie. Two sites (020A and 002C; SE) have 7-day clocks (one revolution per week), 7 have 24-hour clocks (one revolution per day), and the Headquarters raingauge generates daily data and 15 minute data. The Headquarters raingauge generates data year round. The remaining rain gauges are operated from April 1 to October 31. Precipitation amounts are recorded in mm. As of 2011, the HQ 1 (7-day clock) and HQ 2 (24-hour clock) raingauges have been discontinued and replaced with an Ott Pluvio2 rainguage that began data generation March 2010.

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Monitor rainfall in tallgrass prairie on a long term basis.


Location of Sampling Stations: For the APT Experiment Map, please check APT map

Headquarters weather station (grid C-16): Ott Pluvio². Belfort Weighing Rain gauges:

Headquarters 2 (C-16); 020A (C-30), 002C (M-31), N04D (J-27)-upland, 020B (O-28), K04B (T-23), 004B (G-26), N01B (P-23), N02B (H-22), N04D (L-23)-lowland

Frequency of Sampling: Continuous sampling at headquarters weather station. Continuous from April 1 to October 31 for rain gauges on prairie.

Variable Measured: Daily amounts of precipitation (mm)

Methods: Precipitation is measured at headquarters by an Ott Pluvio² rain gauge (continuous remotely monitored). It was installed in March 2010 at the Konza HQ site. Data is collected and processed by a Campbell Scientific (CR800) data logger and downloaded via wireless internet every 15 minutes.

Previous to this instrument two Belfort weighing rain gauges, one with a seven day clock HQ1 and one with a 24 hour clock HQ2 (equipped with a wind screen) were used to record HQ precipitation. Additionally, nine other Belfort weighing rain gauges are installed on the Konza Prairie. Gauges in R01A, 004B, N02B, N04D (upland and lowland), K04B, and N01B have 24 hour clocks for finer resolution of storm events. Gauges in 020A and 002C have seven day clocks. The prairie rain gauges are not operated during the winter months (November-March).

Routine Maintenance: Charts on all Belfort weighing rain gauges require changing each week. Catch buckets in the rain gauges are emptied at the time of chart changing except when the headquarters rain gauge is winterized with antifreeze (see Belfort manual for details). Clock mechanisms require rewinding each week and pens must be refilled with ink. The prairie rain gauges are sealed with plastic in the winter. Following significant precipitation events, the level of the antifreeze/water mixture in the buckets should be checked to avoid overflow. The antifreeze/water system should be discarded and refilled if dilution of the antifreeze past levels of protection occurs. Strip charts are read and hand entered into APT011.

The Ott Pluvio2 rain gauge processing program sends an e-mail to the weather station technician when the bucket is 3" below capacity and needs to be emptied. In the fall, antifreeze is added to the collection bucket, see Ott Pluvio2 manual for details. SAS formats data and generates daily date and 15 minute data from the Ott Pluvio2 rain gauge.

Note: Missing data are signified with the ‘.’

Summary of All Changes:

1982: only operated one ‘HQ’ rain gauge.
4/1/1983: added 20B, 2C, 4B.
4/1/1983 - 4/1/1986: operating four rain gauges (HQ, 20B, 2C, 4B).
4/2/1986: added K01B, N01B, N02B, N4DF, N4DU, R01A (total of 10 rain gauges.
8/20/1986: added HQ2 (total of 11 rain gauges).
1987: When bison where introduced to the Konza wire paneling was placed around N02B, N04D- Up, N04D-Low, and N01B.
2001: 020A rain gauge now identified as R01A rain gauge – watershed name change.
3/19/2010: use new rain gauge 'Ott Pluvio2'. We have the new measures from this new rain gauge. For the period of ‘2010-01-06’ – ‘2011-03-28’ added comments 'old rain gauge' in the comment column.
3/29/2011: shut off the 'HQ2' and old 'HQ' rain gauge (current: total of 10 rain gauges – 020B, 002C, 004B, HQ, K01B, N01B, N02B, N4DF, N4DU, R01A).
April 01, 2011: HQ1 and HQ2 are discontinued. Precipitation values now reported from Ott Pluvio² rain gauge at Konza HQ site.
6/3/2018: converted apt011 data structure to long format, then merged with apt012 data; cleaned up blank cells, updated old rain gauge code to the current rain gauge code (watershed code).

For additional metadata information see:

For additional methods information see:

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Additional information: 

Headquarters raingauge 1 in operation continuously since June 1982; prairie raingauges at 004B, 020B and 002C (south end) in operation since April 1983. Raingauges at N01B, N04D (flume), N04D (prairie chicken blind) and 020A in operation since 02 April 1986. Raingauge HQ2 has been in operation since 20 August 1986. All raingauges except gauges at Headquarters are to be operated from April 1 to October 31 each year.


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