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High frequency Analysis of Stream Chemistry to Establish Elemental Cycling Regimes of High latitude Catchments

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Technical Report,01 Feb 2015,01 Nov 2016

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks United States

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The objectives of this Limited Scope project were to evaluate the performance of instream sensors measuring solute concentrations in high-latitude streams and to assess the relevance of high-frequency records of stream chemistry for studying ecosystem responses to disturbance. Sensors measuring nitrate, fluorescent dissolved organic matter, temperature, turbidity, conductivity, and optical properties of organic matter were deployed in two streams draining the US Armys Yukon Training Area. Laboratory tests were performed to evaluate the response of sensor output to temperature, turbidity, and colored dissolved organic matter. Technical considerations and improvements for implementing instream sensors as part of an environmental monitoring program include permanent mounting of sensors to existing infrastructure and specifically for high-latitude streams with high concentrations of colored dissolved organic matter, further research into the relationship of the concentration of dissolved organic matter with its chemical composition and optical properties. Use of instream sensors for monitoring water chemistry is feasible in high-latitude, boreal streams and near real-time monitoring of solute chemistry could assist in the land stewardship mission of the military to inform the timing and conditions under which training activities would yield minimal effects on water quality.

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