As part of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a systematic sampling program has been undertaken to monitor the glacial meltwater streams in that region. This table contains data pertaining to periodic water quality parameters measured with hand meters on streams in this region.
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Discharge values were derived from either visual estimates or portable cutthroat flumes. In the case of the flumes, a flat area with smooth bottom and a clean getaway would be chosen. The flume would then be set into the ground, and sand wingwalls built up in front to channel all the flow into the flume. After waiting long enough to assure that the storage capacity of the upstream reservoir was full, a reading was made inside the flume to determine discharge. Water temperature was generally measured in the same vicinity as chemical sampling, if any would be done. A hand meter with a probe was used. The probe would be inserted into the water, and a reading was taken after the time constant of the probe elapsed. Specific conductivity was measured with a hand meter. In some cases, the measurement was made in situ. In other cases, a sample bottle was filled, and the measurement was made at another location within twelve hours of the sample being taken. The probe would be inserted, and a reading taken after the time constant of the probe elapsed. Field meters were typically calibrated once per week against solution standards. The pH was taken with field meters. In some cases, the measurement was made in situ. In other cases, a sample bottle was filled, and the measurement was made at another location within twelve hours of the sample being taken. The probe would be inserted, and a reading taken after the probe locked on in auto mode. Care would be taken to rinse the probe off between readings, with either dionized water, or water from the next sample regime. Field meters were typically calibrated once per day against standard buffers.
The field_meter_stream table was created by Harry House in early 1994. It was first stored in an INGRES database, but was converted to ORACLE format in early 1996. Modifications were generally made each year after the initial creation in the early part of the year. It was transferred to INSTAAR in late 1997. In March, 2000, Denise Steigerwald added some variables to this file in order to make the dataset more useful in Oracle and GIS. These variables included dataset code, and strmgageid. In July, 2000, data for 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 austral summers was added.
Data collected prior to the 1993-1994 season, when the McMurdo Long-Term Ecological Research began, does not necessarily contain information for all of the sites or variables collected in subsequent years.