WERC has one monitoring site on the western margin of the Kuparuk Basin, approximately 50 km west of Sagwon Bluffs. The site is located on a ridge overlooking the West Fork of the Kuparuk River at an elevation of about 158 meters. The West-Kuparuk monitoring station is located at 69o 25' 34.3" N latitude and 150o 20' 25.3" W longitude, in the area of transition between rolling hills and the Arctic Coastal plain of Alaska. Vegetation at the site consists of moist acidic tundra. The vegetation is also characteristic of tussock tundra. The soils are loamy with a peaty surface layer and are poorly drained very similar to the Sagwon site. The depth of thaw above permafrost is typically about 50 cm. On the nearby White Hills (69o 28.97'N; 149o 47.78'W), there is a repeater station that allows communications between the West-Kuparuk site and the rest of the Kuparuk Watershed network of stations.
The meteorological, hydrological and soil data archived here represents a continuous record of the West Kuparuk site since July, 1994.
The West Kuparuk station has a complete meteorological station. Variables measured at this met station are wind speed, relative humidity and air temperature at three elevations (with the maximum at 10 m). Wind direction, rainfall and soil temperatures are also measured. Incoming and outgoing long and short wave radiation are measured from before snowmelt until freeze-up. The water equivalent of the snowpack is measured late each spring. (Kane et al. 2000).
Kane, D.L., Hinzman, L.D., McNamara, J.P., Zhang, Z., and Benson, C.S. (2000)An Overview of a Nested Watershed Study in Arctic Alaska, Nordic Hydrology, Vol. 31 (4/5), 245-266.