Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Collaborative Research: IPY: Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) (Award# 0732985)

PI: Peterson, Bruce J (
Phone: (508) 289.7484 
Institute/Department: Marine Biological Laboratory, The Ecosystems Center 
IPY Project? YES
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\AON
Program Manager: Dr. Robert Sanford (
Discipline(s): | Biology | Geological Sciences |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project will assess river constituent (chemistry, isotopes, nutrients) fluxes and discharge in the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers. These observations will be used to test hypotheses about the magnitude, controls and ecological significance of these fluxes, and will provide new information on inter-annual variability and trends in the major fluxes of constituents to the Arctic Ocean. By measuring the flux of water and constituents in these key rivers at the junction between the continents and the Arctic Ocean, it is possible to efficiently assess changes occurring across vast regions of the continents that may diagnose environmental change on land, and forecast imminent changes in circulation and biogeochemical processes in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Monitoring the great arctic rivers is an essential component of any comprehensive Arctic Observatory program and is critical for understanding environmental change in the Arctic, a goal of SEARCH. The data collection will represent a pulse of activity within the IPY timeframe and will provide a legacy of data for future investigations. Arctic-GRO is based upon strong scientific collaborations among US, Canadian and Russian scientists. It also represents a major component of the Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net), an overarching IPY initiative designed to link key coastal erosion monitoring sites established as part of the international Arctic Coastal Dynamics project with major arctic river sampling sites established as part of the NSF Freshwater Integration (FWI) study. The project will link with and extend the Student Partners Project, a science and education effort involving K-12 students and their teachers at each sampling site. Teachers and their students are educated in global change and in turn collect river samples of selected constituents at higher frequencies than would otherwise be possible, thereby improving the science.

Logistics Summary:
The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory, or Arctic-GRO, a collaboration between 0732985 (Peterson, Woods Hole, Lead), 0732522 (Holmes, Woods Hole), 0732821 (McClelland, UT at Austin) and 0732583 (Raymond, Yale), contributes to ACCO-Net, IPY full proposal 90. Arctic-GRO also is the follow-on to the PARTNERS project (Peterson, 0229302), which conducted biogeochemical sampling of the six largest rivers that drain the Arctic Ocean watershed: Russia’s Yenesey, Lena, Ob and Kolyma; Canada’s Mackenzie; and the United States’ Yukon. The PIs will continue studying the six great arctic rivers listed above during several years of sampling. Beginning in 2009, researchers will conduct research activities five times each per year during three strategically timed trips. An extended trip (3-4 weeks) will bracket the high flow period of spring/summer. Three full samplings (depth-integrated samples collected at five locations across the river channel) will be done during this critical time when discharge and constituent concentrations are rapidly changing and when a high percentage of annual fluxes of many constituents occurs. A second trip will occur in late summer when a single full sampling will be done to detect changes in the 14C-age of dissolved and particulate organic carbon transported by the rivers. The third trip to each river will be in the winter, when sampling will occur through the ice. Under-ice base flows are the optimum time to obtain samples for groundwater composition changes. Data from samples collected by The Student Partners project (Holmes, 0519840) will augment those from samples collected by the great rivers observatory. The original plan was to begin sampling in spring of 2008, but instead the PIs will complete procurements and shipping in late 2008, with the first full campaign occurring in spring 2009. As a result of the later start, the PIs will extend the fieldwork into 2011 to gain a full three years of data. Logistics details are carried under this record.

CPS will handle subcontracts required to complete all of the sampling, assist with travel and per diem (via reimbursement), purchase sample equipment and handle costs associated with shipping of gear for the US investigators to/from some or all of the field sites annually. All other logistics will be arranged by the PI and paid from the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2009Alaska - Bethel2
2009Alaska - Pilot Station04 / 30 / 2009 06 / 01 / 20094
2009Canada - Inuvik05 / 16 / 2009 06 / 14 / 20091
2009Russia - Cherskii4
2009Russia - Kolyma River4
2009Russia - Lena River4
2009Russia - Ob River4
2009Russia - Yenisey River4
2010Alaska - Pilot Station05 / 05 / 2010 05 / 31 / 20104
2010Canada - Inuvik05 / 20 / 2010 06 / 18 / 20102
2010Canada - Mackenzie Delta05 / 20 / 2010 06 / 18 / 20102
2010Russia - Kolyma River4
2010Russia - Lena River4
2010Russia - Ob River4
2010Russia - Yenisey River4
2011Alaska - Pilot Station2
2011Canada - Inuvik05 / 13 / 2011 06 / 13 / 20112
2011Russia - Kolyma River4
2011Russia - Lena River4
2011Russia - Ob River4
2011Russia - Yenisey River4

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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "0732985", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1