Status message

View this page on the new BCO-DMO website:

Deployment: ArcticNitro_Barrow

Principal Investigator: 
Patricia L. Yager (University of Georgia, UGA)
Co-Principal Investigator: 
Deborah A. Bronk (Virginia Institute of Marine Science, VIMS)
Marc E. Frischer (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, SkIO)
Platform Type:
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Arctic Ocean; nearshore; Barrow, Alaska; 71.25-71.50°N, 156-157°W

Extracted from the NSF proposal
Study sites: Because of its unique combination of year-round access to the coastal Arctic Ocean
and strong scientific support system (Barrow Arctic Science Consortium we propose to make our
primary winter and summer measurements from Barrow, Alaska.

At 71°N, Barrow receives 24- hour sunlight between May 10 and August 2, and is in 24-h darkness
between November 18 and January 24.  Less than 1 km from shore, shelf depths exceed 10m, and
significantly deeper waters (>100 m) are not far away. Twice each year (January and July) for
two years, working from Barrow, we will use either small boat or skidoo to travel offshore to
sample seawater. We anticipate having access to surface waters of 10-20 m depth within a mile
of the town of Barrow. We plan to sample biological and biogeochemical inventories along three
offshore transects, with 3-5 depths that sample through the surface mixed layer and into the
subsurface layer, accessing both the eastward coastal and the offshore westward currents (Weingartner 2006).

More extensive rate measurements and incubation studies will be made at selected sites and depths
The rationale for the transects is to sample the microbial community response to the cross-shelf
and depth gradients DIN availability. Nearshore stations will be N-limited throughout the water
column in the summer. Offshore stations may have significant NO3 below summer stratification.

As part of SNACS (Study of the Northern Alaska Coastal) C. Ashjian and colleagues have recently
completed summer research near Barrow, using small (43’) boats to investigate environmental controls
on zooplankton populations. They will have nutrient profiles offshore, which will help guide our study.
During the summer, we will coordinate with native Inupiat subsistence whalers (Barrow Whaling Captain
Association. In the winter, safe travel over the ice by foot or snow machine, as far out as the nearshore
lead, will offer access to the ocean using an ice auger. We will not be able to sample far offshore
during winter, but gradients will be weaker due to mixing.