Collaborative Research: IPY: Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO)
Basic Project Information
The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project will assess river constituent (chemistry, isotopes, nutrients) fluxes and discharge in the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers. These observations will be used to test hypotheses about the magnitude, controls and ecological significance of these fluxes, and will provide new information on inter-annual variability and trends in the major fluxes of constituents to the Arctic Ocean. By measuring the flux of water and constituents in these key rivers at the junction between the continents and the Arctic Ocean, it is possible to efficiently assess changes occurring across vast regions of the continents that may diagnose environmental change on land, and forecast imminent changes in circulation and biogeochemical processes in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Monitoring the great arctic rivers is an essential component of any comprehensive Arctic Observatory program and is critical for understanding environmental change in the Arctic, a goal of SEARCH. The data collection will represent a pulse of activity within the IPY timeframe and will provide a legacy of data for future investigations. Arctic-GRO is based upon strong scientific collaborations among US, Canadian and Russian scientists. It also represents a major component of the Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net), an overarching IPY initiative designed to link key coastal erosion monitoring sites established as part of the international Arctic Coastal Dynamics project with major arctic river sampling sites established as part of the NSF Freshwater Integration (FWI) study. The project will link with and extend the Student Partners Project, a science and education effort involving K-12 students and their teachers at each sampling site. Teachers and their students are educated in global change and in turn collect river samples of selected constituents at higher frequencies than would otherwise be possible, thereby improving the science.