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Biogeochemical Interactions at Environmental Interfaces

Water Quality in the Yukon River Basin, Alaska and Canada, Water Years 2009-2013

 

Coralee Johns and Youth, sampling the Yukon River
Yukon River

Paul F. Schuster and Nicole M. Herman-Mercer

Introduction

This is the second water-quality data series resulting from the ongoing partnership between the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The first data series (2006-2008) can be found at http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20101241. The Yukon River Basin (YRB) is the fourth largest drainage basin in North America (855,000 km2, roughly twice the size of California). (More detailed descriptions can be found in Schuster and others, 2010 and Brabets and others, 2000.) To better understand the effects of climate change on the water quality of the Yukon River and its major tributaries, the USGS and the YRITWC developed a water-quality monitoring program with a vision to create a long-term database. This report contains water-quality data from samples collected in the Yukon River Basin during water years (WY) 2009 through 2013. A broad range of chemical analyses from 61 locations throughout the YRB are available here.

Deborah Friday-Aguchak sampling the Ninglivak River in Chevak, Alaska Darren Bullen sampling the Yukon River

In collaboration with the USGS, the YRITWC developed a water-quality monitoring program that utilizes the USGS sampling and monitoring protocols (U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated) . Water-quality samplings include the on-site measurement of pH, conductance, temperature, and dissolved oxygen in addition to the collection and processing of a suite of water samples for laboratory analyses by the USGS. Laboratory analyses include measurement of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved greenhouses gases, major ions, nutrients, trace metals, and water isotopes. Links to analytical methods, quality assurance, sample collection methods, site data, and water-quality data can be found at the bottom of this page.

This is the 9th report and first web-based report of water-quality data for the YRB beginning in WY2001. The first eight reports were published as USGS Open-File Reports and can be found at:

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2003/ofr03427

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1199

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1397

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1258

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1258

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1037

pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1197

pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20101241

1 On August 13th, 2013 the USGS renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the YRITWC representing the culmination of five years of dedicated www.usgs.gov/mou/docs/yritwc_mou.pdf.

 

Map of sampling locations across the Yukon Basin - numbers correspond to site data, which is found at the bottom of this page

Map of sampling locations across the Yukon River Basin

Sample Collection Methods

The collection, processing, and shipping of water quality samples are performed by community technicians trained by USGS and YRITWC research scientists utilizing USGS sampling and monitoring protocols (U.S. Geological Survey, variously dated). Water-quality samplings include the on-site measurement of pH, conductance, temperature, and dissolved oxygen in addition to the collection and processing of a suite of water samples for laboratory analyses by the USGS.

Acknowledgements

It is an honor to acknowledge the 23 participating Tribal Councils and, First Nations across Alaska and Canada, and more than 100 trained community technicians that dedicate their time to collecting water samples in support of this project. We would also like to specifically acknowledge Brett Uhle for his laboratory assistance and oversight and the present and former science department staff of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council: Edda Mutter, Elli Matkin, Maggie Massey, Jody Inkster, Brendan Mulligan, Carol Hashburgh, Ryan Toohey, and Leah Mackey for their water sample collection efforts and oversight of community logistics. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the financial support that makes this project possible. Funding is provided by the USGS Water and Climate and Land Use Change mission areas. Additional funding has been provided by the USGS Office of Tribal Relations and Alaska Science Center. The dedication and investment of all of the above named collaborators and funders is a testament to the importance of environmental issues to Arctic communities and the scientific community.

Citation

Schuster, P.F. and Herman-Mercer, N.M, 2015, Water Quality in the Yukon River Basin, Alaska, Water Years 2009-2013, doi: [DOI], at [URL].

 

 

Project Staff

Paul Schuster
U.S. Geological Survey
3215 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80303
Tel: 303-541-3052
pschuste@usgs.gov
USGS Professional Page
 
Nicole M. Herman-Mercer
U.S. Geological Survey
DFC, Bldg. 53
Denver, CO 80225
Tel: 303-236-5031
nhmercer@usgs.gov
USGS Professional Page
 

Links to excel and word files:

References (references, word file)

Site Data 2009-2013 (site data 2009-2013, excel file)

Quality Assurance (Quality Assurance, word file)

Quality Assurance Detection Limit and Deionized Water (QA_DL_DI, excel file)

Quality Assurance Laboratory Duplicates and Field Replicates (QA_Dups_Reps, excel file)

Quality Assurance Standard Water Reference Samples (QA_SWRS_2009-2013, excel file)

Analytical Methods and References (Analytical Methods, word file)

Sample Collection Methods (Sample Collection Methods, word file)

Water Chemistry 2009-2013 (Water Chemistry 2009-2013, excel file)

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