Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 5: Cold, Really Cold

I woke up to this:
CNSC after a night of snow
And then it kept snowing and sleeting! In the book "Wildflowers of Churchill and the Hudson Bay Region," it describes the Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppisitifolia) as being the "first real sign of spring at Churchill." Yesterday, I posted the picture of saxifrage from one of the control sites for ITEX, which should mean that spring is here. Then, what is with this snow?!

Today, I placed my hands in 2C water. And then I did it again. And then I did it again. And a good number of times after that. The purpose of which was not that I'm crazy (though it is a saying that it takes a special kind of stupid to want to work up here!), but that I started the water sampling for the regional water nutrient study. The goal of this sampling is to understand the nutrient levels in the lakes and how rain events and drying events effect the nutrient levels. This ties in with my nutrient limitation study in microcosms because the regional sampling will show the system response to the seasonal events. My experiment is looking at how fast nutrients are used up once they are added (in my experiment, I am adding the nutrients to simulate whatever natural source they would come from - either the sediment or the peatland) and what the response of the algae is to the added nutrients (does the algae in the water, the phytoplankton, grow more than the algae on the benthos mat on top of the sediment?).

For the regional water nutrient study, I am sampling 5, sometimes 4, sometimes 6, lakes. My main lakes are Larch and Left, which I showed pictures of yesterday and will also be the focus lakes of my experiment for the summer. Larch is my baby because last summer I worked on it as well, looking at the paleolimnology and geochemistry (a summary of which is coming, I promise!) I'm also sampling water from Strange (in post yesterday), Puddle Pond, and Erin Lake. Additionally, I'll sample Golf Lake, but not as often. All of these also have the water level loggers and cores so there is a lot of information about them already.

Puddle Pond: It has a tendency to dry out througout the season.
But I was surprised that it was already drying so soon after snow-melt...
Then I found a channel from Puddle to Strange. And channels from
the road to Puddle. So is the water simply flowing to Strange?

Erin Lake: The larget lake that I'm consistently sampling. It is
connected through a small opening to another lake that is still
frozen over today even though Erin is ice-free!

1 comment: