Chilly feet – or first day in the field..

Accompanied by espresso and a beautiful view over Torneträsk with snow-capped mountains on the horizon we started our day with planning where to go. After asking people working at the station, and digging into some papers on the lake we decided to try and sample around the Abiskojåkka delta.

The Abiskojåkka (jåkka is river in Sami-language) drains a catchment of about 560 km2 with an average elevation of 950 meter above sea level. Particularly during rain storm events it carries tremendous amounts of terrestrial material that it deposits into the bottom of Lake Torneträsk as sediments.

After a solid lunch of eggs and bacon (we learned in Siberia to eat heavy…) we met with Thomas Westin (from ANS, see picture below) at the boat launch, got geared up into floatation suits and took off.

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The weather was good (although slightly chilly) and the lake relatively calm. Our plan was to sample along a transect from close to the delta (lots of land-derived material) to further out (less land-derived material). With a warming climate it is likely that Lake Torneträsk will receive more land-derived, terrestrial, material in the future so we are interested in seeing how the lake reacts to inputs from land. Back home we will for example look at microbes that can process organic matter from land. We heard that this part of the lake has lots of sandy and pebbly bottoms, but we were lucky to find quite a lot of fine mud. Our small Van Veen grab sampler worked wonderfully.

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And as a bonus we even spotted a floating dead lemming!

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In perfect timing, we made it back to shore just as the snow started to fall. After this successful first day out, we hope to continue the mud collections tomorrow all being well.

 

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