Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: CO2 evasion from the Greenland ice sheet (Award# 1304686)

PI: Jacobson, Andrew D (adj@earth.northwestern.edu)
Phone: (847) 491.3132 
Institute/Department: Northwestern University, Earth and Planetary Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ANS
Program Manager: Dr. Henrietta Edmonds (hedmonds@nsf.gov )
Discipline(s): | Geological Sciences\Geochemistry |

Project Web Site(s):
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=13...
Data: http://www.willo.com/mimsy_xg/default.asp
Data: https://arcticdata.io/

Science Summary:
Total freshwater runoff from the Greenland ranks among the 12th and 13th largest rivers of the world, yet analyses of its geochemistry are surprisingly sparse. Insufficient data are available to identify what carbon cycle feedbacks presently occur and how they might change in the future. Preliminary research suggests that rivers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet yield a previously unknown flux of CO2 to the atmosphere: water emerging from beneath the Russell Glacier in West Greenland has CO2 partial pressures 3 to 10 times supersaturated with respect to atmospheric equilibrium, likely originating from subglacial microbial metabolism. Despite consumption through chemical weathering during downstream transport, some of this CO2 evades to the atmosphere. Key questions concern if, how, and to what extent CO2 evasion will either increase or decrease as the ice sheet decays in a warmer world. Through seasonal samplings and targeted hypothesis testing, this project aims to improve understanding of modern-day processes. The work will focus on a source-to-sink characterization of the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua River, from its origin at the terminus of the Russell Glacier to its mouth at the head of the Kangerlussuaq Fjord. The objective is to measure and model downstream gradients for pH, major ions, dissolved organic carbon, carbonate system parameters, and the carbon isotope composition of dissolved inorganic carbon. In addition, the oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition of water will be used to identify water sources and flow paths, and the radiocarbon content of dissolved inorganic and organic carbon will constrain the age of the carbon. These data will be used to test five hypotheses designed to elucidate how microbial activity, hydrologic processes, and chemical weathering regulate the magnitude of CO2 evasion. In addition to teaching and training a Ph.D. graduate student, the PI will advise undergraduate student researchers who will conduct fieldwork and write senior honors theses. The PI and his student group will also engage K-12 underrepresented minorities in education and outreach activities illustrating the greenhouse effect and its relationship to the proposed study.

Logistics Summary:
Researchers will conduct field work in 2014 and 2015 for this two-year project, focusing on a source-to-sink characterization of the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua River, from its origin at the terminus of the Russell Glacier near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, to its mouth at the head of the Kangerlussuaq Fjord. Water sampling will occur from late spring through early fall. In 2014 a field team of two (with one personnel rotation) will collect water, sediment, and bedrock samples based out of Kangerlussuaq, on site in June, July, and August. Water sampling will occur from late spring through early fall. In the laboratory, researchers will conduct leaching and digestion experiments to quantify mineral weathering end-members. Researchers will synthesize data using carbonate equilibria calculations, major ion mass-balances, and reactive-transport modeling. In 2015, a field team of two (with two personnel rotations) will visit Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, flying to and from the island via ANG. Based from the KISS, they will travel on foot or by truck to field sites to collect water, sediment, and bedrock samples in June, July, and August, with occasional overnights in the field. In the KISS laboratory, researchers will conduct leaching and digestion experiments to quantify mineral weathering end-members. Researchers will synthesize data using carbonate equilibria calculations, major ion mass-balances, and reactive-transport modeling.

CPS will provide Air National Guard (ANG) coordination, KISS user days & lab space, a rental vehicle, and field & safety equipment from existing stocks. All other logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Greenland - Kangerlussuaq06 / 02 / 2014 08 / 22 / 20143
2015Greenland - Kangerlussuaq05 / 29 / 2015 08 / 22 / 20154
 


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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "1304686", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1
 
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