Site location

The Izaña Atmospheric Observatory (IZO) is at the island of Tenerife at 28º18’N, 16º29’W, 2373 m a.s.l. The observatory is located on the top of a mountain plateau in a pre-national park area (Teide National Park) that is environmentally protected by the “Sky Law”. IZO is normally above a temperature inversion layer, generally well established over the island, and so free of local anthropoge­nic influences.

IZO Izaña Altitude: 2372.899m
    Deg Rad
Lon 16º 29′ 57.78” W 16.4993833 0.287968563
Lat 28º 18′ 32.34” N 28.3089833 0.494084967

At the Izaña Observatory clean air and clear sky conditions are prevailing around all the year. Firstly, it is located in the region below the descending branch of the Hadley cell, typically above a stable inversion layer. Secondly, it is situated on an island far away from any significant industrial activities. Consequently it offers excellent conditions for in-situ measurements of trace gases and aerosols under “free troposphere” conditions and for atmospheric observations by remote sensing techniques. The environmental conditions and pristine skies are optimal for calibration and validation activities. Due to its geographic location it is in particular valuable for the investigation of dust transport from Africa to the North Atlantic, and large scale transport from the tropics to higher latitudes.

See larger map


IARC has two complementary stations. The research air quality (GURME Prgram) station is located on the roof of the IARCheadquarters (SCO, 52 m a.s.l.) in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, very near the city harbour and is named SCO.

SCO Santa Cruz Altitude: 52 m
    Deg Rad
Lon 16º 14′ 50.5” W 16.2473611 0.283569946
Lat 28º 28′ 21.1” N 28.4725277 0.496939356


See larger map

The second complementary facility is the ozonesonde station, at the Canary Islands Institute of Agrarian Research‘s (ICIA) Laboratory wich is located at the Botanic Garden in Puerto de la Cruz.