Remarkable Sampling Transect

Nikita Zimov and Max Holmes – sampling the Arctic Ocean off the mouth of the Kolyma River.

The Polaris Project is interested in the transport and transformation of carbon and nutrients as they flow with water from uplands to the Arctic Ocean.  As the satellite image below shows, there are a remarkable diversity of ecosystems and landscapes in the vicinity of the Northeast Science Station, including boreal forest, tundra, and a great diversity of lakes, streams, and rivers (including the Kolyma River – one of the largest in the Arctic).

Yesterday Nikita Zimov and I made the farthest-north foray yet in the 3 years of the Polaris Project, eventually reaching the Arctic Ocean proper before sampling a small tundra stream flowing directly into the Arctic Ocean.  We also sampled several other sites along the way.

Today Nikita and two students (Blaize Denfeld and Sam Dunn) are heading south along the Kolyma River to sample several tributaries as well as to collect samples of Yedoma soils from Divannyi Yar for various experiments.  Remarkably, over a two day period we will have sampled at all of the locations identified in the figure below, plus some.  The logistical capabilities of the Station are stunning, as are the environments that we are able to sample.