Assessing the Impact of Small, Canadian Arctic River Flows to the Freshwater Budget of the Canadian Archipelago

The purpose of this project is to collect water samples from seven different rivers and their adjoining estuaries throughout the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in order to determine whether or not their chemical signatures differ from larger North American rivers such as the Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers. Trained local research assistants collect water samples using a 1 L bottle attached to the end of an extendable pole.  After wading into the river and using the pole to collect 2-3 L of water from near the central channel of the flow, these bulk samples are filtered on the bank of the river and sub-sampled into smaller bottles for chemical analyses. In addition to this work, small, inflatable boats equipped with portable, outboard motors are used to collect water samples from the regions extending both offshore and alongshore of the river mouths. This work assesses the movement of the river plumes and the contribution of this freshwater to the channels and straits of the Canadian Archipelago.

Project leads: 
Matthew Alkire – University of Washington