Diurnal chemistry of two contrasting stream types, Taylor Valley, McMurdo Dry Valley Region, Antarctica


Numerous ephemeral streams flow within the McMurdo Dry Valley Region of Antarctica that transport glacial meltwater to perennially ice-covered, closed-basin lakes during the austral summer. The diurnal behavior for two Taylor Valley streams of different character was examined during the summer of 2010-11. Andersen Creek is a short, 1st-order proglacial stream, whereas Von Guerard Stream is a long, high-order stream with an extensive hyporheic zone that has a substantial cyanobacterial algal mat community in its middle reaches. Both streams display strong daily cycles for temperature, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Conductivity varies in concert with flow, with solute dilution occurring during the daily high-flow pulse. Dissolved oxygen co-varies strongly with pH at Andersen Creek but not for Von Guerard Stream. Each stream has a distinct geochemical character that for Andersen Creek is a direct reflection of its glacial source, unmodified by secondary effects, whereas that for Von Guerard Stream is modulated by its resident algal mat community and through extensive hyporheic zone interaction and exchange.

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