Member Highlight: Chukchi Mooring Returns A Year Of pH Data

2017-11-06T15:52:06+00:00 November 6, 2017|

(Click to enlarge). The Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory is maintained by a multi-institutional, multi-investigator partnership that includes the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska Ocean Observing System, the North Pacific Research Board, Olgoonik-Fairweather, Université Laval, and the University of Washington.

On a recent research mission, University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists brought home the first set of year-round pH data from the Chukchi Sea. The data came from a mooring known as the Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory, or “CEO”, located about 120 miles northwest of Barrow. In addition to pH, the mooring collects a broad sweet of measurements including sea ice dynamics, ocean physics, nutrient and carbonate chemistry, particulate matter, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fisheries, and marine mammal acoustics.

(From Alaska Ocean Acidification Network) — “When we first tried to download the pH data, the sensor would not respond,” said University of Alaska Fairbanks chemical oceanographer and professor Claudine Hauri. “Our hearts sank. We thought the sensor hadn’t worked. But after a few tries, the full year of data showed up.”

The CEO also returned 4 months of pCO2 data. “pCO2 sensors are really power hungry,” Hauri noted.  “Even though we were very conservative with our power budget calculations, the lithium batteries only lasted until November. Four months isn’t a lot but it’s exciting data because it covers the fall, a very dynamic season with only few data points.”

With pH and pCO2 data, the UAF research team will be able to study the natural variability of these parameters throughout the year, get a better understanding of the chemical habitat of organisms living in this area and in combination with the other collected data, elucidate what drives the observed variability.

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