Physical Limnology of Arctic Lakes

Our goals are to characterize the hydrodynamics of Toolik Lake and neighboring lakes in the Alaskan Arctic, to place the results into the context of changing climate in the Arctic, to quantify the effects of hydrodynamics on nutrient and gas fluxes and on microbial and primary productivity, and to do comparative limnology with high latitude sites in Canada, Sweden and Finland. Efforts include obtaining time series temperature and meteorological data from lakes of different sizes and bathymetry and to use these data to quantify surface energy budgets, internal wave dynamics, and turbulence. Additional measurements include high resolution profiles of temperature-gradient microstructure (to quantify turbulence) with the self-contained autonomous micro-profiler (SCAMP), current speeds using acoustic Doppler current profilers and acoustic Doppler velocimeters, and time series measurements of oxygen and chlorophyll fluorescence.

Time-series temperature data have been collected routinely in Toolik Lake (1998 - present) and Lakes E5 and E6 (1999 - present) and are posted on this project webpage. The meteorological data for Lake E5 are on this web page. Time series temperature data have been collected intermittently on Lakes E1, N2, Fog 2 and Fog 4. Please contact Sally MacIntyre for data from the smaller lakes (

The associated meteorological data for the lake meteorological station on Toolik Lake.

Selected manuscripts are available:

The physical limnological research has been or is being supported by U.S. NSF DEB grants 9723962, 0108572, and 0640953 to Sally MacIntyre, and 0919603 to SM, J. Clark, and S. Miller, and ANS grants 0714805 and 1204267 to SM. The physical limnological data can be used for interpretation of the chemical and biological data obtained by the Arctic LTER and in comparative projects such as the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON,, the Global Lakes Temperature Collaboration (GLTC,, and the Towards a Circumarctic Lakes Observation Network (CALON,