OHP Observatory, France (OHP)

OHP Observatory, France (OHP)


Lat : 43.931°N, Lon : 5.712°E, Alt : 650m above sea level

Sampling height: 2, 10, 50, 100 m above ground level


The Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP) – UMS Pythéas is an INSU CNRS observation site for astronomy, environmental and atmospheric sciences. It welcomes researchers of all nationalities who use its powerful telescopes, lidars, and a platform for studying biodiversity. He is also very active in teaching and training.

The Haute-Provence Observatory is located in the South-East of France, near the village of St.Michel l’Observatoire, about a hundred kilometers north of Marseille, on a limestone plateau wooded with oak trees whose altitude average is 650 meters.

Created in 1937, the OHP is a unit of the National Center for Scientific Research which covers the fields of study of the near and distant environment:

  • In Astronomy and Astrophysics, this site hosts several instruments, including the 193 cm telescope which enabled the discovery of the first exoplanet; it is equipped with an innovative spectrograph which places it among the best in the world.
  • In atmospheric sciences: the geophysical station is one of the largest in the global network for detecting changes in the composition of the atmosphere (NDACC). Measurements are performed by LIDARs (including a laser), spectrometers and sounding balloons.
  • The ICOS tower, 100 meters high, continuously measures the concentrations of greenhouse gases on the OHP site.
  • In ecology, the O3HP (Oak Observatory at OHP) studies the forest of pubescent oaks and the evolution of biodiversity subject to global changes: climate, pollution, etc.

The ICOS tower installed at the Observatory of Haute Provence, 100 m high, is a regional antenna of the system allowing the study of the place of the Mediterranean forest in the carbon balance.

Measured species

In situ and continuous: CO2, CH4, CO

Meteorological parameters: Temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction.


I. Xueref-Remy, M. Lopez, M. Ramonet


Relevant publications

Belviso, S., I. Reiter, B. Loubet, V. Gros, J. Lathière, D. Montagne, M. Delmotte, M. Ramonet, C. Kalogridis, B. Lebegue, N. Bonnaire, V. Kazan, T. Gauquelin, C. Fernandez, and B. Genty (2016), A top-down approach of surface carbonyl sulfide exchange by a Mediterranean oak forest ecosystem in southern France, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(23), 14909-14923, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-14909-2016.

Lelandais, L., I. Xueref-Remy, A. Riandet, P. E. Blanc, A. Armengaud, S. Oppo, C. Yohia, M. Ramonet, and M. Delmotte (2022), Analysis of 5.5 years of atmospheric CO2, CH4, CO continuous observations (2014–2020) and their correlations, at the Observatoire de Haute Provence, a station of the ICOS-France national greenhouse gases observation network, Atmos Environ, 277, 119020, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2022.119020.