Fresh from our return to the UK we have been very busy cataloguing all of our samples and downloading all of our data from our probes, ready for data interpretation. While we are busy in the lab, analysing the many samples we collected, we would like to keep you all up to date with the other work that our colleagues were also up to on Lake Baikal.
Our EAWAG colleagues have been deploying moorings close to the Neutrino Base Camp for the past 10 years, working in close collaboration with Dr. Elena Vologina at the Institute of the Earth’s Crust, Russian Academy of Science. These moorings have numerous data loggers that continuously record the temperature and depth of the lake water at multiple depths down the water column. These data are of great interest to physicists who have been looking in detail at internal waves within the water column and the complex mixing of different water masses in the lake.
Along the same moorings, Dr. Mike Sturm and Dr. Elena Vologina have been deploying sediment traps. These are both open (collecting sedimenting particles throughout the year) and sequencing (12 traps each opening on rotation, for 1 month).
These are of great interest in order to understand any resuspension of sediments (in bottom waters) as well as aquatic productivity changes throughout the year and indeed between multiple years. This year, we have been lucky enough to share some of the trap material!
Sarah will be able to identify the different diatom species that are present, giving detailed ecological interpretations of water column conditions (e.g. nutrient availability, light etc). If we have enough material we may even be able to analyse the δ30Si composition of diatoms collected from the different months of the year and understand silicon utilisation changes by this algae, as the year progresses. This is essential in order to understand modern day dynamics of silicon utilisation and therefore permit down core reconstructions of productivity changes. More to come on our success later this year…
However, for now, the three moorings are back in place for the following sampling year. So a successful trip for our colleagues and here’s to many more such years of data and sampling on Lake Baikal.