Physical and chemical data for various lakes near Toolik Research Station, Arctic LTER. Summer 2000 to 2009


Decadal file describing the physical/chemical values recorded at various lakes near Toolik Research Station during summers from 2000 to 2009. Sample site descriptors include site, date, time, depth. Depth profiles of physical measures collected in situ with Hydrolab Datasonde in the field include temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen in both percent saturation and mg/l, SCUFA chlorophyll-a values in both volts and µg/l, and PAR.

Project Keywords: 

Data set ID: 


EML revision ID: 

Published on EDI/LTER Data Portal

Citation Suggestion: 

Giblin, A., Kling, G. 2001. Physical and chemical data for various lakes near Toolik Research Station, Arctic LTER. Summer 2000 to 2009 Environmental Data Initiative.

Date Range: 

Wednesday, July 13, 1983 to Saturday, August 26, 1989

Publication Date: 

Wednesday, December 12, 2001


The physical characteristics and chemistry of lake waters of the Arctic LTER were sampled at various locations either weekly, monthly or once per field season depending on the site and the year.

Until 1992 (inclusive) Dissolved O2 and temperature were measured using a YSI 57 Oxygen Meter, water calibrated. Temperature and conductivity were ready by a YSI model 33 conductivity meter. Carbonate alkalinity was titrated against pH depending on expected alkalinity (Wetzel and Likens, 1979). pH was measured electrometrically with a corning portable expanded standard pH buffer and corrected for the temperature of the sample.

From 1993 to 2001 a Hydrolab SVR3-DL Surveyor 3 data logger and Hydrolab H2O-BT STd multiprobe were used to measure depth, temperature, pH, specific conductivity and dissolved oxygen. Alkalinity was measured by performing Gran titrations using DL12K Mettler autotitrator. Surface and underwater light transmission was measured using a Licor digital light meter until 1998. From 1998 onward Surface and underwater light transmission was measured using a Licor LI 1400 digital light meter with surface and underwater quantum sensors.
The hydrolab was calibrated for O2 weekly using Winkler titrations. Conductivity, pH and depth were calibrated monthly.

From 2002 to present A Hydrolab Surveyor 4 data logger and Datsonde 4 (2000 to 2004) and Datasonde DS5 (2005-2009) Multiprobe were used to measure: depth, temperature, pH, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen (mg/l), in-vivo fluorescence, and Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at half meter or meter intervals depending on the lake. Depth reading on sonde was calibrated in the field so that a depth of 0m was the water surface. The in vivo fluorescence measurements were taken using a Turner designs SCUFA(r) (Self-Contained Underwater Fluorescence Apparatus) attached to the Hydrolab Datasonde 4. The PAR measurements at both the surface and at each depth were taken using flat-faced, "cosine-corrected" Licor underwater quantum sensors attached to the Datasonde 4. The Hydrolab was calibrated weekly for oxygen, using the barometer in the Surveyor 4. Conductivity, and pH were also calibrated weekly using commercial standards. Because of the low conductivity of the waters around Toolik the potassium chloride (KCl) concentration in the reference electrode was changed weekly prior to calibration.

For all years Secchi disk depth was measured using a Secchi disk, a 22 cm black and white disk, that is lowered by hand into the water to the depth at which it vanishes from sight. This distance was then recorded. As there is only one depth for each site, the same sec chi depth is indicated for all depths measured at a particular site on a particular day. This measurement is generally made on the shady side of the boat and measured to the nearest 0.1 meters.

Reference Citations: Wetzel, R.G., G.E. Likens. 1979. Limnological Methods. Saunders. Philadelphia.


The following lakes have been used as experimental through 2009:
Nutrient enrichment: E5, E6, N2 Fert, N1
Food web manipulations: E1, S6, S11, I8
Reference lakes (no manipulations): Toolik, Fog 2, Fog 4, I6, Green Cabin Lake, S7, NE9B, I-Minus 1, N2 Ref

  1. Lake N2 was separated into two parts with a dividing curtain in 1985, with half being fertilized at a rate calculated to be approximately 5 times the normal loading of nitrogen and phosphorous. The fertilizers used were ammonium nitrate and phosphoric acid. The site name "N2 Fert" indicates measurements from the fertilized side of the curtain (Measurements beginning July 5, 1985) and "N2 Ref" indicates the control (or reference) portion of the lake which was not fertilized. The curtain was removed in 2011. Prior to 1985 and after 2011 data from this lake was simply called Lake N2.
  2.  I-Series lakes: These lakes are found in a series making up the largest tributary leading into Toolik Lake, where lake I1 is the furthest up-stream and lake I9 is the closest to Toolik lake inlet. Lake I8 has been part of a long term fish density manipulation since 1989. This manipulation involves removing low numbers of fish each summer to simulate fishing pressure on the system. Lake I6 serves as a reference lake for lake I8.
  3. Fog 4 - has undergone no manipulation but serves as a reference lake for nutrient enrichment of lake E6
  4. E5 - This is a deep lake that contains fish. In 2001 a nutrient enrichment began to mimic effects of increased nutrient availability. Lake Fog 2 serves a reference control for this lake.
  5. E6 - This is a shallow lake with no fish. In 2001 a nutrient enrichment began to mimic effects of increased nutrient availability. Lake Fog 4 serves as a reference lake for lake E6. A thermokarst was discovered on this lake however and so lake NE9B has been used in more recent years as a reference lake for E6.

Sites sampled.

Download a comma delimited (csv) or Excel file (includes metadata and data sheets).

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