Mace Head

The Mace Head station is located on the west coast of Ireland. Its exposure to the North Atlantic Ocean make it an ideal location to study both natural and man-made trace constituents in marine and continental air masses.

The Mace Head, Ireland station is a baseline station in the WMO network of Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) stations. GAGE/AGAGE operations began here in 1987 (from 1978 to 1983, ALE operated at Adrigole at 52ºN, 10ºW). Measurements of atmospheric CFC-11, CFC-12, CH3CCl3, CCl4, and N2O started in 1978. Measurements of CFC-113, CHCl3 and CH4 started in 1987, and of CO and H2 began in 1995. The first AGAGE automated gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS), based on a Finnigan Magnum Ion Trap coupled to a custom-built (University of Bristol) adsorption-desorption system (ADS GC-MS), was installed at the Mace Head, Ireland AGAGE station in October 1994. It was replaced by the Agilent 5973 MS in 1998 and this was later retired in December 2004, after a new state of the art Medusa GC-MS system was installed and started operation in November 2003. The AGAGE GC-MS systems measure a wide range of CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFC, halons, and halocarbons.

Station designation: 



53.3267º N, 9.9046º W

Station elevation: 

8 meters above sea level

Air intake elevation: 

11 meters above ground level

Station PI: 

Simon O'Doherty (

Station manager: 

Gerry Spain (

Station team: 

Dickon Young, Kieran Stanley

Postal address: 

Carna, Co. Galway H91N2R2, Ireland

Station funding: 

Atmospheric gas measurements at Mace Head are supported by research grants from the Department of Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), contract number 5488/11/2021 in the UK; and the National Aeronautic and Space Administration Grants (NASA), sub-award S5608 PO# - 752393.