14 Jun 2021

14 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Multi-year, spatially extensive, watershed scale synoptic stream chemistry and water quality conditions for six permafrost-underlain Arctic watersheds

Arial J. Shogren1, Jay P. Zarnetske1, Benjamin W. Abbott2, Samuel Bratsman2, Brian Brown2, Michael Carey3, Randy Fulweber4, Heather E. Greaves4, Emma Haines1, Frances Iannucci4,5, Joshua C. Koch3, Alexander Medvedeff5, Jonathan A. O'Donnell6, Leika Patch2, Brett A. Poulin7,8, Tanner J. Williamson1, and William B. Bowden5 Arial J. Shogren et al.
  • 1Earth & Environmental Sciences Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing Michigan 48824, USA
  • 2Plant & Wildlife Sciences Department, Bringham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84602, USA
  • 3Alaska Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska, 99508, USA
  • 4Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99775, USA
  • 5Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA
  • 6Arctic Network, National Park Service, Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA
  • 7Water Mission Area, U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colorado, 80303, USA
  • 8Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California Davis, Davis, California, 95616, USA

Abstract. Repeated sampling of spatially distributed river chemistry can be used to assess the location, scale, and stability of carbon and nutrient contributions to watershed-scale exports. Here, we provide a comprehensive set of water chemistry measurements and secondary ecosystem metrics describing the biogeochemical conditions of permafrost-affected Arctic watershed networks. These data were collected in watershed-wide repeated synoptic campaigns across six rivers across northern Alaska. Three watersheds are associated with the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research (ARC LTER) site at Toolik Field Station (TFS), which were sampled seasonally each June and August from 2016 to 2018. Three watersheds were associated with the National Park Service (NPS) of Alaska and the US. Geological Survey (USGS), and were sampled annually from 2015 to 2019. Extensive water chemistry characterization included carbon species, dissolved nutrients, and anions and cations. The objective of the sampling designs and data acquisition was to generate a dataset to support the estimation of ecosystem metrics that describe the dominant location, scale, and overall stability of ecosystem processes in the Arctic. These metrics are: (1) subcatchment leverage, (2) variance collapse, and (3) spatial stability. Both water chemistry concentrations and secondary metrics are available at the National Park Service Integrated Resource Management Application portal ( and within the Environmental Data Initiative LTER Data Portal ( 

Arial J. Shogren et al.

Status: open (until 20 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-155', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Jul 2021 reply
  • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Arial Shogren, 26 Jul 2021 reply

Arial J. Shogren et al.

Data sets

Repeated synoptic watershed chemistry from three watersheds near Toolik Field Station, Alaska, summer 2016-2018 Abbott, B. W., Zarnetske, J. P., Bowden, W. B., and Shogren, A. J

Stream water chemistry from Arctic Network Parks, Alaska, 2015 to 2019 O’Donnell, J. A., Koch, J. C., Carey, M. P., and Poulin, B

Arial J. Shogren et al.


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Short summary
Sampling various points in an entire river network over a short period of time (~a few hours) provides a synoptic “snapshot” in time of the water chemistry in a watershed. Here, we describe two unique datasets which captured river chemistry snapshots in six permafrost-impacted watersheds in northern Alaska. We present how these repeated snapshots can be used to inform predictions for carbon, nutrient, and other solutes in landscapes that are rapidly changing as a direct result of climate change.