Sampling in the sun

The Dusty team returned to Greenland in June, once the ice on the lakes had melted. What a difference 6 weeks makes. This is a beautiful time of year in Kangerlussuaq, with clear blue skies and warm sun, which made for some stunning hikes out to the sites among the flowers which were in bloom.

Here is a video of the view across lake SS17b  where we were transporting equipment across towards the next site.

The main aims of this trip were to sample waters from a number of lakes across a transect of dust deposition leading away from the ice sheet to monitor the associated patterns of water chemistry and enzyme activity.  Chris also set sediment traps to capture particulates as they settle in the lakes.


We found an especially nice surprise at a new site elegantly named SS17c which had stunning views down the outwash plain, and from which we could see the wind blowing dust up onto the surrounding higher land.


For this trip we had to set up the chemistry lab once more, for analysis of a range of macronutrients and for the enzyme assays. Some long lab days lay ahead, on top of the fieldwork.


We also set up a leaching experiment to determine the release rates of nutrients and other elements from the dust. A dusty job weighing out the aliquots to spike the experiment with!

This was a long day’s work- finishing at 3am, and because we had to sample at 12 hour periods afterwards, Amanda volunteered to do the shift work for the next few days while the rest of the team finished off the field work. The experiment is now doing it’s thing in the growth chamber…


Maud was also in charge of emptying the dust traps which were set on the April trip which will be used to monitor dust deposition.

P1070045Meanwhile, back on the lake, we were sampling the benthos which grow on the bottom of the lake, using core samplers to capture the massive variability in habitats on the bottom of the lakes. Here are some Nostoc spp, a cyanobacteria which grows in very large balls on the bottom of the lake, together with charophytes.

P1060893 SS2N2 Litt 2

Added to this, we also using ‘Dusty Cam’ to explore the bottom habitats in the lakes.

The team will be back in August to look at revisit the lakes

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