Isotopes d2H and d18O in Alaskan ground, lake, and river water from the area of Toolik Lake, Alaska from 2012-2014 (Groundwater Discharge Methane project)

Data Type: Other Field Results
Version Date: 2017-01-03

» EAGER: Subterranean Ground Water Discharge (SGD) in the Arctic as a Source of Atmospheric Methane? A Proof of Concept Study (Groundwater Discharge Methane)
Paytan, AdinaUniversity of California-Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz)Principal Investigator, Contact
Tulaczyk, SlawekUniversity of California-Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz)Co-Principal Investigator
York, Amber D.Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager

Dataset Description

This dataset contains isotopic ratios d2H and d18O in Alaskan natural waters.  The sampling location is included for each sample (lake, river, etc.) as well as the latitude and longitude of the sample site.



Acquisition Description

Discrete groundwater, lake, and river water samples were collected from Toolik Lake in September 2013 and July 2014.  Groundwater samples were collected in all locations from freshly dug pits or temporary PVC well points of variable depth depending on the depth of the water table.  All water samples were collected by submersible pump.  Sample collection followed previously established methods as water was filtered to 0.45 microns into 2 mL gas chromatography vials.  Samples were analyzed by the UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility on a Laser Water Isotope Analyzer V2 (Los Gatos Research Inc).  Precision is typically ≤0.3 permil for d18O-H2O and ≤0.8 permil for dD-H2O.  Values are reported relative to Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW).

Processing Description

No further processing was done.

BCO-DMO data manager notes:
* added a conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
* modified parameter names to conform with BCO-DMO naming conventions
* blank values replaced with no data value 'nd'
* replaced 'N/A' values with "nd" for no data
* combined 2012 and 2014 data into one dataset and added column "year"
* changed the original longitudes to negative to place them in Alaska.
* sorted dataset by year, then water sample type (ground water, lake water, river water), then date

[ table of contents | back to top ]


yearYear of sample aquisition unitless
water_typeDescriptive name of sample water type unitless
dateDate of sample in format yyyy-mm-dd unitless
latLatitude of sample; north is positive decimal degrees
lonLongitude of sample; west is negative decimal degrees
tempTemerature of sampled water degrees Celsius
water_d2HIsotopic ratio of deuterium (2H) to a single hydrogen (2H:1H) in water permil (0/00)
water_d18OIsotopic ratio of 18O:16O in water permil (0/00)

[ table of contents | back to top ]


Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Laser Water Isotope Analyzer V2
Generic Instrument Name
Isotope-ratio Mass Spectrometer
Dataset-specific Description
Laser Water Isotope Analyzer V2 (Los Gatos Research Inc)
Generic Instrument Description
The Isotope-ratio Mass Spectrometer is a particular type of mass spectrometer used to measure the relative abundance of isotopes in a given sample (e.g. VG Prism II Isotope Ratio Mass-Spectrometer).

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
submersible pump
Generic Instrument Name
Generic Instrument Description
A pump is a device that moves fluids (liquids or gases), or sometimes slurries, by mechanical action. Pumps can be classified into three major groups according to the method they use to move the fluid: direct lift, displacement, and gravity pumps

[ table of contents | back to top ]



shoreside ALASKA_Paytan
Start Date
End Date
Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska

[ table of contents | back to top ]

Project Information

EAGER: Subterranean Ground Water Discharge (SGD) in the Arctic as a Source of Atmospheric Methane? A Proof of Concept Study (Groundwater Discharge Methane)

Coverage: Alaskan Pacific and Arctic Coastline, and Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska

Extracted from the NSF award abstract:
The major objective of this proof of concept study is to evaluate the contribution of Subterranean Groundwater Discharge (SGD) in the Arctic to the global methane budget. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and large natural reservoirs exist in Arctic soils and permafrost. The working hypothesis is that methane released from thawing permafrost in the Arctic is transported via groundwater flow (above and below the permafrost layer) and enters the atmosphere via coastal waters and lakes. This source of methane may be realized as an important source of natural methane to the atmosphere and may provide a positive feedback to global warming.

The objectives of the study are:

1) To estimate the magnitude of subterranean groundwater discharge and associated methane flux into lakes and coastal waters in Alaska at three representative sites.

2) To evaluate methane evasion rates from the water column to the atmosphere.

3) To determine if the contribution of methane input from subterranean groundwater discharge to the global methane budget is significant, and if so

4) To use the preliminary data to design a more through research plan that will enable precise estimates of fluxes and provide a basis for global extrapolation of results such that the contribution of this source to current and future climate changes and the global methane budget will be possible.

The project will support a graduate student full time for two years. Undergraduate students in the ACCESS program and the California Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Engineering and Mathematics program at UCSC will also participate in the proposed work. The PIs will work with COSEE Alaska to ntegrate this work in their outreach and education activities including teacher workshops, symposia, and work with local communities in Alaska.

Note:  When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

Ms. Alanna Lecher , Dr. Natasha Dimova , Ms. Katy Sparrow , Dr. Fenix Garcia-Tigreros , Mr. Joseph Murray , Dr. Slawek Tulaczyk , Dr. John Kessler. "Groundwater Discharge a Conduit for Methane Emissions in the Arctic," Nature Geoscience, 2015.

[ table of contents | back to top ]


Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Polar Programs (NSF PLR)

[ table of contents | back to top ]