2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
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2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

McMurdo LTER - Geochemistry: Increased connectivity in a polar desert resulting from climate warming: McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER Program

Using a Herman-Nelson heater to keep water liquid while working on Lake Bonney during mid-April. Photo by: John Priscu


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Paul Cutler

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator

Dr. W. Berry Lyons

Ohio State University
The School of Earth Sciences
Columbus, Ohio

Project Web Site:
http://mcmlter.org External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Dry Valleys


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

Field team members will collect water, snow, and sediment samples. They will travel to their sampling sites by foot or by helicopter from McMurdo Station or Lake Hoare. They will work with the limnology 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

  • W. Berry Lyons (PI)
  • Sydney Olund
  • Elsa Saelens
  • Kathy Welch (Team Leader)