In the foreground, Max Planck employee Kerstin Hippler is seen attaching a Söll fall protection rail; she is wearing a yellow climbing helmet over a red baseball cap and a fall protection harness over an LA shirt in Brazilian green. She works secured at a height of about 100m on the tower, which is 300m high in total. Around her is the white painted scaffolding structure and in the background you can see the tropical rainforest to the horizon.

ATTO - Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (Brazil)

The cooperation project of Germany and Brazil in the middle of the Amazon rainforest about 150 km north of Manaus operates the continuous recording of meteorological, chemical and biological data, such as the concentration of greenhouse gases.

Description & History

ATTO's mission is to provide groundbreaking insights and foundations for improved climate models. Among other things, the researchers hope to understand the sources of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. In addition, weather data will be collected and the formation of so-called aerosol particles, which are important for cloud formation, will be studied.

The existing towers (see Manaus) have already been collecting data on weather conditions, ozone, carbon dioxide and nitrogenous trace gases since 2011. The height of the new tower now makes it possible to conduct much more far-reaching research. For example, the transport of air masses and their changes through the forest can be studied over many hundreds of kilometers.

The research project is being financed with 8.4 million euros by the research ministries of both countries.

Since 2009, we from the Freiland Group have been active in an advisory capacity for the project. Since 2015, we have been involved in planning the technical infrastructure (power and data distributions, lightning protection, grounding, UPS systems; Martin Hertel and Karl Kübler) on and around the tower and collaborating on the basic micrometeorlogical equipment including eddy covariance systems (essentially Olaf Kolle). Installation work was carried out on site in the fall of 2016.

Since April 2017, the project is coordinated by Prof. Susan Trumbore.

Atto = Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (Brazil).



ATTO Tall Tower

Latitude: -13.08
Longitude: -50.90    


  • 325 m high tower, steel construction with a surface of three by three meters
  • since 2007 (MPI-C Mainz) until today (MPI-BGC)
  • Measuring platforms at the following altitudes
  • Joint project led by Brazilian institute INPA (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia) with MPI-C in Mainz and since 2015 MPI-BGC Jena


  • INPA: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia.
  • Brazilian ATTO Coordinator

Variables & Instruments

"ATTO Tall Tower"


  • Eddy covariance - CO2, water vapor, momentum, heat
  • Profiles - CO2


  • Wind velocity and wind direction
  • Air pressure
  • Air temperature and humidity-
  • Precipitation
  • Solar radiation
  • Terrestrial radiation
  • Photosynthetically active radiation

Soil properties

  • Soil temperature
  • Soil moisture
  • Soil heat flux

Data acquisition

  • Meteorological data
  • CO2 profile data
  • Flux data


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