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Le Port, Reunion Island, 21°S, 55°E


Reunion Island is a volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean at about 800 km east of Madagascar. In the context of global climate changes, Reunion Island is a very interesting site in atmospheric research for the detection of trace gases and the study of the transport of biomass burning plumes.

Reunion island is part of the ground-based Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). Ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) solar absorption measurements are performed by BIRA-IASB at the University of Saint-Denis since 2002 and at the new observatory located at Maido mount (2200m a.s.l.) since 2012. To complete these measurements, BIRA-IASB operates also MAXDOAS measurements at Le Port since April 2016 (after a first installation at Saint-Denis from July 2004 to July 2005).

Instrument and operation

Recently, in April 2016, a new MAXDOAS instrument has been installed on the top of the ARDA (Association de Recherche et de Développement pour l’Aquaculture, now called Hydro-Reunion) building at Le Port, the main harbour city located at the extreme northwest corner of the island. It is a full automated dual-channel system covering the 300-540 nm range. It consists in a thermo-regulated box containing two spectrometers located inside the building. An optical head is mounted on a commercial suntracker located outside and connected to the spectrometers via optical fibers. The instrument alternates off-axis measurements in the direction of the sea as well as direct sun measurements. It should allow to detect all primary gases (NO2, O3, HCHO, SO2)

View of the MAXDOAS instrument installed at Le Port in April 2016

Last update on 20 Oct 2016