Steaming Ahead

Already half way into our trip and we have sampled last summer’s locations (in yellow) and 6 new locations (in red)! The new samples include 3 flood plain streams and 3 samples up north. The stream team has been spending long hours conducting nutrient additions on the flood plain streams. The northern samples include the Arctic Ocean, a tundra stream and a seep flowing into the stream. These new additions expand our data set spatially adding more diversity to characterizing the watershed.

Thanks to our enduring host Nikita we were able to make a back to back trip to the North and then to the South. I was one of the fortunate students who got to go on the 15 hour trip. The trip was full of adventure as we stopped at a remote fisherman hut, we ate lunch on a small island over looking Duvannyi Yar and we got to sample at some amazing locations. The Omalon water is a beautiful distinctive green color, visual evidence that something is causing a difference in the composition of the water. Next we ventured on to the slopes of Duvannyi Yar, where the river bank is eroding yedoma soils and melting ice wedges causing chocolate streams to trickle down into the river. It truly is an amazing place.

Since being back from the trip I have been busy filtering the sampled water so that it can be analyzed for different measurements. Thanks to the help of many Polaris project members we already have nutrient, DOC (dissolved organic Carbon) and absorbance results for many of the sites. I also have been analyzing the water for alkalinity. Understanding the alkalinity will help get at the amount of CO2 outgassing from the water. Travis from the stream team will also be looking at CO2 at different locations along a stream. I am looking forward to merging our data. Until next adventure…