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25 January, 2003

January 25, 2003

Algae Ops Data

Algae Ops has now finished surveying all of the streams where transects have been established in the Taylor Valley. Our samples have been gathered, and the stream chemistry has been taken. Below is a summary of each stream's data, followed by

pictures of many of the streams. There are several high school earth science classes comparing this year's data with the data from the past, so I hope you find this helpful.

Last year was a record high flow year, and this year we often saw no flow or just a trickle. Discharge measurements were sometimes impossible to take. The most remarkable observation was that flow was controlled not only by warmer temperatures, but also by the amount of solar radiation. The sun covered by clouds was often enough to stop flow in some of the streams. This is an incredibly sensitive eco-system.


1. ANDERSON CREEK at Lake Hoare and the Canada Glacier; 12/29/02

Conductivity= 37.1 uS @ -0.1 degrees C

pH meter not working

Orange algae is very sparse

2. HOUSE CREEK at Lake Chad and the Seuss Glacier; 12/30/02

Couldn't find our mark so skipped it for today

3. WHARTON CREEK at Lake Chad and the Seuss Glacier; 12/30/02

Red, black & green moss were found but only in a very small area

Conductivity = 32.6 uS @ 0.5 degrees C

4. VON GUERARD STREAM at Lake Fryxell and the Gartner (officially it has no name, so John named it!) Glacier; 1/2/03

Large salt deposits

Orange and black algae

pH = 6.60 @ 5.6 degrees C

Conductivity = 125.7 uS @ 5.8 degrees C

Weir = 0.24 cfs


Red & black moss

Orange and black algae

pH = 6.5

Conductivity = 75.2 uS @ 7.5 degrees C

6. CANADA STREAM at the Canada Glacier and Lake Fryxell; at the gage

Orange, black, red algae

Black and green moss

Sp. Conductivity = 20.6 uS Cond. = 14.7 uS @ 9.7 degrees C

7. CANADA STREAM at the delta of Lake Fryxell; Canada Glacier--1/7/03

Orange, black, red algae

Black & green moss

pH = 5.9

Sp. Conductivity = 22.1 uS Cond. = 14.1 uS @ 5.9 degrees C

8. BOWLES CREEK is fed by ponds from Canada Glacier at Lake Fryxell; 1/8/03

Braided channel

Upstream wide & slow almost like a delta

Black algae along stream bank

Orange down the middle


Black and orange algae

pH = 6.7

Temp. = 7.1 degrees C

Cond. = 42.2 uS

Sp. Cond. = 64.3 uS

9. GREEN CREEK at the Canada Glacier and Lake Fryxell; 1/8/03

Orange algae in center of creek

Black algae along edges; both are more sparse than Bowles


pH = 6.1

Temp 6.1 degrees C

Sp. Cond. = 27.7 uS

Cond. = 17.1 uS

10. DELTA STREAM at the gage; Lake Fryxell and the Howard Glacier; 1/9/03

Braided channel

Black and orange algae

Longest stream

11. UPPER DELTA; 1/10/03

Orange algae down center; black very sparse

No apparent moss

12. LAWSON CREEK from Taylor Glacier to the west lobe of Lake Bonney; 1/13/03

"Slime" samples; not sure what it is

pH = 6.05

13. PRISCU STREAM on the east lobe of Lake Bonney. It has flow from several streams receiving flow from glaciers on both the north and south sides of Taylor Valley; transect is at the gage; 1/15/03

Sandy, unstable banks

No algae

pH = 6.41

Specific Cond. = 82.8 uS @ 9 degrees C

Cond. =119.0

14. BOHNER STREAM at Lake Bonney; source is an alpine glacier; 1/15/03

Sp. Cond. = 131.8 uS @ 3.7 degrees C

Cond. = 78.3 uS

pH = 6.03

15. HUEY CREEK at Lake Fryxell; 1/17/03

Sp. Cond. = 109.6 uS

Cond. = 109.6 uS

Temp. = 3.2 degrees C


Black Algae

16. UPPER VON GUERARD at Lake Fryxell; 1/22/03

Black algae


79.6 uS @ 1.7 degrees C

17. HOUSE CREEK at Lake Chad and the Seuss Glacier; 1/25/03

Very steep banks; very unstable; rock slide since we were here has covered the mark

We surveyed from stream gage elevation marks

Conductivity = 52.1 uS @ 0.6 degrees C

Took sediment

No apparent algae

1. Me holding the rod for surveying at Anderson Stream next to the western side of the Canada Glacier. Anderson flows into Lake Hoare.

2. This is the gage and contro on House Creek. House Creek has very steep banks and very little flow. The sides are very unstable. Its source is the Seuss Glacier and it flows into Lake Chad. There are several mummified seals near this creek.

3. Me at the middle level of Von Guerard Stream. You can see its meandering path down to Lake Fryxell. F6 is located at the lower gage site on this stream.

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