High-frequency monitoring of stream water physicochemistry on sub-Antarctic Marion Island

  • M-J Stowe
  • DW Hedding
  • FD Eckardt
  • W Nel
Keywords: diurnal, diel cycles, in situ, Marion Island, sub-Antarctic

Abstract

Given the remoteness and challenging environmental conditions on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, continuous high-resolution studies of the island’s natural water systems are rare. Subsequently, current understanding of the island’s hydrochemistry is based entirely on manual point-based measurements. To address this research gap we analysed continuous, in-situ highfrequency physicochemical measurements (pH, water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and electrical conductivity (EC)) from the Soft Plume River over the period 21 April 2015–26 April 2015. We observed a sharp, short-term response from all measurements to a precipitation event that was superimposed on consistent but subtle diel (i.e. 24 h) cycles throughout the study. Total variation in pH and electrical conductivity amounted to 1.3 units and 27.7 μS/cm respectively. Stream water temperature was less variable (6.2°C) than air surface temperature (14.2°C). Total variation in DO was 2.0 mg/L. Aside from the precipitation-induced response, diel oscillations were small and only visible through the use of continuous, highresolution monitoring. Findings highlight the advantages of continuous high-frequency monitoring in capturing the range of daily variation and elucidating diel cycles in stream water physicochemistry on sub-Antarctic Marion Island that have not previously been accounted for.

Keywords: diurnal, diel cycles, in situ, Marion Island, sub-Antarctic

Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0378-4738