Estonian Environmental Observatory

Name of the Research Infrastructure (RI)

Estonian Environmental Observatory

Acronym of the RI


Website of the RI

Location (address) of the RI

Vanemuise 46 / 51014 Tartu

Scientific domain(s) of the RI

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Type of RI


Research Services at the RI


Sample preparation and handling;

Taxonomic collections preservation, processing and analysing service;

Boats and marine equipment;

Devices for measuring sea and lakes bioproduction characteristics, currents, temperature and visibility changes;

Experimental field laboratorys and equipment;

Field laboratorys for various biological experiments and measuring

GHG measurements;

CO2, ch4, h2o gas measurements in SMEAR station;

Remote sensing;

Using radar and LIDAR, scanning of landscape and coastal areas;

Physical oceanography;

Measuring of temperature, salinity and density and circulation of heat and organic matter;

Meteorological measurements;

Basic and complex   temperature, wind, humidity, air pressure, water vapour and several gradients;

Atmosphere-biosphere gas   measurements;

Measuring   Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchanges of Biologically Related Gases with Micrometeorological Methods;

Photosynthesis measurements;

Measuring of gas exchange and CO2 assimilation in stems (FAHM station).

Equipment at the RI


Nanometer aerosol and Air Ion Spectrometer;

A spectrometer for the measurement of cluster ion and nanometer aerosol size distributions;

Radon monitor, Geiger-Müller gamma-radiation detector;

Geiger-Muller counters are used to screen various environmental samples, to measure body fluid activity and to conduct radiation surveys;


An instrument for the real time measurement of optical absortion by aerosol particles;

Field data loggers;

A data logger (also datalogger or data recorder) is an electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either with a built in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors;

Laboratory LED lightening system;

LED lightening for FAHM experiments support;

Surface- and ground water indicators;

Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring Instrumentation;

Ultrasonic anemometer;

Ultrasonic anemometer – device for measuring the short-term (about 0.1 – 100 seconds) fluctuations of   wind and air temperature; Such measurements are needed to quantify the heat   and momentum fluxes in the atmosphere;

Eddy covariance systems (portable and stationary);

Eddy covariance technique stations to measure and calculate vertical turbulent fluxes within atmospheric boundary layers;

Multiplexer device and shoot chambers;

Installed to different treatments of field experiment, are programmed to close periodically and monitore daily courses of gas exchange in tree shoots. The multiplexer system connects air flow from different chambers in certain order to gas analyser (to measure CO2, water vapor and NOx concentrations and calculate uptake or emission of gases from shoots);

Different types of sensors;

Ex: sap flow sensors are used to estimate water flux in tree stems and branches, to calculate whole tree water use and/or transpiration rate;

GIS stations;

A geographic information system is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data;

Terrestrial laser skanner;

TLS technology is based on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and is also referred to as ground-based LiDAR or tripod LiDAR. It is an active imaging system whereby laser pulses
  are emitted by the scanner and observables include the range and intensity of   pulse returns reflected by the surface or object being scanned. Some   instruments are capable of measuring multiple returns or even the full waveform   of the reflected pulse;

Laser tacheometer, digital levelling instrument;

Digital tachometer utilising laser or contact for measuring rotational and linear speed. Levelling is the measurement of geodetic height;

Digital gravimeter;

A gravimeter is an instrument used in gravimetry for measuring the local gravitational field of the Earth.



Number of national users per year: 320

Number of European users per year: 50

Number of international users per year: 20

Year of start of operation

(i.e. Status and Status Date)

Status: Under construction

Since: 2012

Key words


Environmental monitoring, research stations, athmosphere-biosphere   relations, marine research, freshwater research, biodiversity information,   geomatics, data network

Description of the RI


A integrated network of research and monitoring stations for atmosphere, biosphere, marine and freshwater measurements, covering all main ecosystems in the country. Also a part of the   infrastructure is a geoinformatics laboratory, which standardizes and   visualizes geographical data from the Environmental Observatory stations. The Environmental Observatory aims to develop a intergrated system for exchanging   data and measurements between various stations and biotopes, thus enchancing   interdistliplinary research and a knowledge-based approach to   environment-related policy-making. Infrastructure includes Station for   Measuring Air and Ecosystem Relations (SMEAR) and a Free Air Humidity Manipulating (FAHM)   station, a automated marine current measurement boi in the Finnish Gulf, coastal and freshwater measuring stations and experimental biodiversity research stations.

Hosting Organisation

University of Tartu

Contact email

Kaido Kansi