2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
McMurdo LTER - Geochemistry: Increased connectivity in a polar desert resulting from climate warming: McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER Program
Julie Brown is preparing to collect water samples at Delta Stream in Taylor Valley. Photo Credit: Kathy Welch. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler


ASC POC/Implementer:
Elizabeth Watson / Cara Sucher

Dr. W. Berry Lyons (Principal Investigator)
http://mcmlter.orgExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Ohio State University
The School of Earth Sciences
Columbus, Ohio

Supporting Stations:  McMurdo Station
Research Locations:  Dry Valleys

Project Description:
Initially funded in 1980, the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites where researchers are studying ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Geochemistry component researchers monitor the inorganic geochemistry of waters and solid samples collected from the glaciers, streams, ponds, lakes, and landscape of the Dry Valleys. They also continue to study the upland seeps and ponds to gain a better understanding of their hydrologic and geochemical controls. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: C-504-M (Gooseff), C-505-M (Priscu), C-506-M (Gooseff), C-507-M (Wall), C-508-M (Barrett), C-509-M (Lyons), and C-511-M (Doran).

Field Season Overview:
Four participants will collect water, snow, and sediment samples. The sampling will be done on foot or by taking day trips by helicopter from McMurdo or Lake Hoare to the sampling sites. They will work with the limno and stream teams at Lakes Hoare, Bonney, F6, and Fryxell. At upland pond sites within the Dry Valleys team members will collect additional water samples. They will return to Crary Lab to perform chemical analysis of lake, stream, glacier, and other samples.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Kelsey Bisson
  • W. Berry Lyons (PI)
  • Kathy Welch (Team Leader)

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs