Start date:
End date:
Early February
McMurdo Dry Valleys
Principle Investigator:
Dr John Priscu
Montana State University Bozeman
Field season overview:
This field season there will be two main research groups with this project making routine lake measurements from October through early January. Group 1 will periodically occupy the field camps at Lakes Bonney, Hoare, and Fryxell from early November to early January. The field rotation will begin at Lake Fryxell in early November, move to Lake Hoare the second week of November, and to Lake Bonney the third week of November. The second round of sampling will occur in early December and will follow the same lake rotation. A four-day sampling trip to Lakes Fryxell, Hoare, and Bonney will be made during late December and early January and will be based out of Lake Hoare and Lake Bonney camps. Researchers will also visit Lake Vanda and Lake Miers to take biological, chemical, and physical measurements, and the ice edge or an ice hole in McMurdo Sound to calibrate their Seabird CTD instrument. Researchers may also visit Blood Falls, the Canada Glacier, and Don Juan Pond. The group 2 field season this year will require operational support in terms of helicopter hours (day trips and sample returns to McMurdo Station), cargo support, and allocation of space in Phase II and freezer and environmental rooms at Crary Lab. Group 2 will be working out of established field camps at Lakes Fryxell, Bonney, and Hoare, with planned day trips by means of helicopter support to Wright Valley, Victoria Valley, and Miers Valley. The group will also be surveying ablation stakes on the ice surface at Lakes Hoare, Fryxell, and Bonney, which entails the assistance of UNAVCO.
Theme or program:
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program
The McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) projects will continue to investigate the McMurdo Dry Valleys as an end-member ecosystem and focus on the relative roles of legacy and extant processes on current biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. This project will continue long-term measurements of the biological, chemical, and physical properties of McMurdo Dry Valley lakes and lake ice, with special emphasis on LTER core research areas. Two major tasks are to upgrade and maintain long-term automated lake monitoring equipment in the Dry Valleys (lake temperature, light, stage, etc.), and to carry out manual lake hydrologic balance measurements. This will require data collection and resetting a number of long-term environmental sensors in and on the lakes, and the measurement of surface ice movements on dry valley lakes using GPS.