Chacaltaya Observatory, Bolivia (CHC)

Chacaltaya Observatory, Bolivia (CHC)


Lat: -16.3533°S, Lon: -68.1311°W, Alt: 5240 m. above see level
Sampling heights: 15 m. above ground level


The Chacaltaya GAW Station (CHC) is located in the Bolivian Andes. Chacaltaya is a mountain with a horizon open to the  south and west facing the Altiplano (plateau of 3800 masl).  Behind CHC (towards the north and east), high peaks of the mountain range (Cordillera Real) separate it from the Amazon Basin.  The climate is semi-arid, but the summit of Chacaltaya is often in the clouds. The area surrounding the CHC is stony, partly covered by snow (especially in summer) and with little fauna and vegetation.

The station was equipped in november 2011 to measure gases concentrations, aerosols physical and chemical properties in a continuous basis. It is managed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics  (LFA) as part of an  international scientific consortium.  The station depends of the Instituto de Investigaciones Físicas from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés.

Most of the instruments  are deployed at 5240 masl, but some have been installed in the norwestern ridge of Mount Chacaltaya at 5380 masl. Electric power is available at CHC station through transmission wires from La Paz, cell phones get a weak but continuous signal on site and the internet connection is stable. Permanent personnel (watchmen) work 7 days a week at the CHC station. Scientists and technicians travel to the station regularly during work days.

Measured species

In situ and continuous : CO2, CH4, CO


M. Andrade, O. Laurent, M. Lopez, M. Ramonet


Site Web

Chacaltaya Web site

Relevant publications

Aliaga, D., V. A. Sinclair, M. Andrade, P. Artaxo, S. Carbone, E. Kadantsev, P. Laj, A. Wiedensohler, R. Krejci, and F. Bianchi (2021), Identifying source regions of air masses sampled at the tropical high-altitude site of Chacaltaya using WRF-FLEXPART and cluster analysis, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21(21), 16453-16477,

Andrade, M., F. Zaratti, R. Forno, R. Gutiérrez, I. Moreno, F. Velarde, F. Ávila, M. Roca, M. F. Sánchez, P. Laj, J. L. Jaffrezo, P. Ginot, K. Sellegri, M. Ramonet, O. Laurent, K. Weinhold, A. Wiedensohler, R. Krejci, P. Bonasoni, P. Cristofanelli, D. Whiteman, F. Vimeux, A. Dommergue, and O. Magand (2015), Puesta en marcha de una nueva estación de monitoreo climático en los andes centrales de Bolivia: la estación Gaw/Chacaltaya, Revista Boliviana de Física, 26(26), 6-15.

Andrade M., Ticona L., Ramonet M., Laurent O., Laj P., Velarde F., Moreno I., Gutierrez G., Forno R. and Blacutt L. (2022) – Seven years of measurements of atmospheric methane at the Chacaltaya GAW regional station , GGMT22

Chauvigné, A., D. Aliaga, K. Sellegri, N. Montoux, R. Krejci, G. Močnik, I. Moreno, T. Müller, M. Pandolfi, F. Velarde, K. Weinhold, P. Ginot, A. Wiedensohler, M. Andrade, and P. Laj (2019), Biomass burning and urban emission impacts in the Andes Cordillera region based on in situ measurements from the Chacaltaya observatory, Bolivia (5240 m a.s.l.), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19(23), 14805-14824,

Koenig, A., Maximilian, O. Magand, P. Laj, M. Andrade, I. Moreno, F. Velarde, G. Salvatierra, R. Gutierrez, L. Blacutt, D. Aliaga, T. Reichler, K. Sellegri, O. Laurent, M. Ramonet, and A. Dommergue (2021), Seasonal patterns of atmospheric mercury in tropical South America as inferred by a continuous total gaseous mercury record at Chacaltaya station (5240 m) in Bolivia, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(58), 3447 – 3472,

Rose, C., K. Sellegri, I. Moreno, F. Velarde, M. Ramonet, K. Weinhold, R. Krejci, M. Andrade, A. Wiedensohler, P. Ginot, and P. Laj (2017), CCN production by new particle formation in the free troposphere, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(2), 1529-1541,

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