The network has been designed to provide a UK-wide network of stations that sample the range of physical and climatic conditions across the UK (e.g., land cover, climate, soil type and geology). Some clustering of sites enables us to explore variability between sites at local, regional and national levels.

Listed below are factors used in the evaluation of potential sites, and whether they have a positive or negative influence. Some factors are both a positive and negative influences on site selection; for example we are keen to sample locations not already represented in the network (a positive influence), but also to avoid undue duplication of site characteristics that are already well represented in the network (a negative influence).

Factors considered:

  • Geographic location - providing desired spatial coverage within network. [Positive & negative]
  • Environmental variables (e.g. climate, soil, geology, land cover and topography). [Positive & negative]
  • High soil moisture variability. [Positive]
  • Existing, relevant, on-going research and monitoring activities at the site. [Strong positive]
  • Opportunities for COSMOS-UK data to directly satisfy research goals and foster collaboration, such as data assimilation into models, validation of remote sensing, and support of other monitoring programmes. [Positive]
  • Proximity to open water or shallow/perched groundwater [Strong negative]
  • Long-term permission for instrument installation and soil sampling. [Strong positive]
  • Ease of access. [Strong positive]
  • Risk of vandalism. [Strong negative]
  • Mobile phone network coverage. [Positive]

We are often looking to expand our UK Network, so if you think you have a suitable site, please contact us at: CosmosUK@ceh.ac.uk