Northern Territory Baseline Air Pollution Station

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere operates the Northern Territory Baseline Air Pollution Station (NT BAPS) to better understand the variety of influences on atmospheric composition and chemistry in the region.

The Gunn Point Baseline Air Pollution Station, pictured in 2014, is home to a number of purpose built container laboratories, alongside the Bureau of Meteorology’s radar station.

The station is located at Gunn Point, approximately 40 km to the northeast of Darwin and measures greenhouse gases, aerosols, reactive gases as well as meteorology and radon. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere (O&A) have been operating the NT BAPS since 2010.

Now established, NT BAPS will be the centrepiece of atmospheric research in Northern Australia by CSIRO O&A ACC, from which we hope to grow partnerships and share knowledge with government, research institutions and communities.

The NT BAPS has been purpose built to provide high-quality year-round measurements of baseline air pollution in the harshness of northern Australian. High quality continuous measurements are made from two thermally insulated and temperature-controlled atmospheric laboratories:

  • Lab 1: measurements of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and radon
  • Lab 2: measurements of reactive gases (RG) and aerosols.

The NT BAPS is a Regional station in the World Meteorological Organisation Global Atmospheric Watch Program (WMO GAW).  The WMO GAW program is an international network of baseline air pollution stations that provides valuable long-term observations to the global atmospheric research community.

NT BAPS provides important information about processes that influence the concentrations of air pollutants and GHGs in northern Australia including fires, natural terrestrial and oceanic sources, regional development and long range transport from other regions.

The NT BAPS has successfully provided:

  • Campaign-based data for ozone, oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds and aerosol microphysical, chemical and optical properties
  • Annual concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in the atmosphere, including PFOS
  • Long term records of carbon dioxide, methane, radon and mercury concentrations and aerosol optical and microphysical properties

The NT BAPS is perfectly placed to provide an expanded capability for atmospheric monitoring in the region.

To explore the data from NT BAPS – please visit the data page.

A local grass-fire close to the station emits significant smoke and gas emissions – one of the primary reasons for having a station in this region.