Frozen Arctic Lakes as Biogeochemical Hotspots

Expedition Dates: April 12-20, 2018 and June 18-July 9, 2018

Field Team Members/Affiliations: Jasmine Saros, Ben Burpee, Robert Northington (Husson University), Jim Almendinger (St Croix Watershed Research Station)

Expedition Funding Acknowledgement: UMaine

Expedition Report:

This project employs sensor-based and direct monitoring of Arctic lakes in the Kangerlussuaq area of West Greenland to examine under ice processes related to the carbon cycle. The combination of repeated monitoring of a small set of lakes through time and a single survey across a broader suite of lakes allows examination of the research questions at multiple scales. Our primary goal in 2018 was to monitor changes in net ecosystem productivity, gross primary productivity and respiration continuously using sensor arrays through the ice-covered to ice-free period in two lakes. Sensors to monitor temperature, oxygen, and light at 10-minute resolution were deployed in mid-April 2018 through lake ice, and retrieved in mid-summer. The data revealed dynamic changes under ice, including ample light conditions for primary production.


Ben pulling sampling gear.
Ben pulling sampling gear into Lake SS901.
Buoy: the sensor system deployed through lake ice.
The sensor system deployed through the lake ice.
Summer sampling.
Summer sampling and retrieval of under ice buoys by Robert, Ben and Jasmine.
Jasmine & Ben hiking in to sample a lake.
Jasmine & Ben hiking in to sample a lake.
Collecting plankton from the sediment trap.
Ben & Jasmine collect plankton from the sediment trap.