|A view of hut point, and part of McMurdo or "town" to give you an idea of what it looks like.|
We gauge the flow on 16 different streams in the Dry Valleys. Most of the streams are in Taylor Valley (where I will be living and spending most of my time). The other streams are located in Wright Valley, and Meirs Valley. To get to the streams we either hike, use ATVs on the lake ice, or fly via helicopter.
The gauging process is the same process used by the USGS which I am sure all of you are very familiar with... In case you need a refresher on that I will explain it in gory detail (you may want to skip the next two paragraphs). We have gauge boxes at each stream which have instrumentation that measure the depth of the water at a specific location in the stream. These measurements are taken every minute and recorded on a memory device on site. This gives us nearly constant measurements of the depth of the stream over time. To convert this depth to a flow rate (volume of water over time) we need to take manual flow and depth measurements at the stream. This allows us to create a relationship between the flow and depth of the stream. With enough flow measurements you can develop what is known as a discharge rating curve (shown below). The points would be the manual flow and depth measurements and the line is the interpolated discharge rating curve. As you can see from the image, with an accurate discharge rating curve you can translate any depth measurement to a flow measurement. We make this translation with all of our stream depth data, which ultimately gives us flow measurements every minute for the duration of the season.
So our main goal over the coarse of the season will be to take flow measurements and water quality samples at as many streams as we can. Currently we have been stuck in Crary Lab in McMurdo (shown below) washing bottles for the collection and processing of our samples. The goal is to fly out to our field camp next Monday.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or if I need to explain anything further.
|Our Lab in Crary where we have washed thousands of bottles this week.|
|Nice view walking into the lab this morning (Crary on the left). Mount Discovery is the peak you can see across the sound|