Towards Long-term Monitoring of the CO2 System in Arctic Rivers

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, limnology, water chemistry, carbon dioxide

Principal Investigator: Wang, Zhaohui 'Aleck' (3)
Licence Number: 14720
Organization: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010
Issued: May 16, 2010
Project Team: Zhaohui 'Aleck' Wang (PI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Charles Zhui (Student, Yale University)

Objective(s): To initiate time-series measurements of the CO2 system in the Mackenzie River, the major Arctic river in North America. This work will serve as the initial step towards long-term measurements and studies of the impacts of global warming on the CO2 systems in Mackenzie River, its estuary, and adjacent coastal waters.

Project Description: The goal of this research is to initiate time-series measurements of the CO2 system in the Mackenzie River, the major Arctic river in North America. This work will serve as the initial step towards long-term measurements and studies of the impacts of global warming on the CO2 systems in Mackenzie River, its estuary, and adjacent coastal waters.

The field campaigns will include both diurnal and monthly water sampling of all primary CO2 system parameters (pH, partial pressure of CO2 - pCO2, total dissolved inorganic carbon - DIC, and alkalnity) in Mackenzie River near Inuvik. Water sample will be filtered and collected into glass bottles or glass optical cells, and ship to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US for analyses. Water salinity, temperature, and depth will be measured in-situ at the sampling site. A scientific team of two will travel from US to Inuvik, Canada in early June and late August to collect diurnal samples (sampling every two hours for 48 hours).

During the spring and summer trips to Inuvik, continuous measurements of pCO2, DIC and pH may also be taken at the sampling site using an automated instrument, depending on availability of the instrument.

The Aurora Research Institute at Inuvik will be involved to help take monthly water samples from Mackenzie River. A technician at Aurora Research Institute, Inuvik will help to collect monthly samples from June, 2010 to May 2011. The samples will be shipped to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US for measurements of total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity, particle pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), and pH.

The goal of this research is to initiate time-series measurements of the CO2 system in the Mackenzie River. It will serve as the initial step towards long-term measurements and studies of the impacts of global warming on the CO2 systems and inorganic carbon flux in the Mackenzie River, its estuary, and adjacent coastal waters. These long-term impacts will provide critical biogeochemical information to local community to make informed decisions on strategies and policies to adapt global climate change in the years to come.

The data obtained through this research will be available to the public through Aurora Research Institute. The Researcher will also report research activities to Aurora Research Institute as required. Any academic papers published will be also available for anyone who is interested.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 1, 2010 to December 1, 2010.