After two successful sampling days on the lake we now have samples from three distinct riverine inputs, Abiskojåkka, Njuoraätno and Miellejåkka. See the previous blog post for pictures of the glorious mud itself! The sites didn’t give up their sediments easily though with sand and gravel dominating the shallow depths making for tricky grabbing. Whilst difficult to get samples containing organic matter (needed for our analyses) it was fascinating to take the boat right up to the limit of the Njuoraätno inlet, which included passing its textbook sandy spit, a geomorphologist’s wildest dream.
Motoring up the Njuoraätno inlet.
Once we moved offshore from the inlets into deeper water it was like striking gold after the anticipation of reeling the grab back up to the surface, then finding it full to the brim. Particularly interesting were the coloured layers in some of the sediments, indicating differences in the source of the material and potentially the type of microbes living in them. The previous night’s dusting of snow added a whole new dimension to the amazing scenery but made for a very chilly day out on the water. Later on, back in the kitchen and warmed up we took stock of the samples, making sure everything was in order and labelled correctly, important because of the time and money invested in collecting them.
Jorien and Paul clearing snow out of the boat in the morning
The gate to Lapland..
Thursday, our final day in Abisko before flying home was spent checking data, writing and looking into obtaining further information on the catchment of our sampled rivers. This may be important for explaining patterns in our results. We enjoyed a good Fika with others based at the station before taking a casual drive into Norway to skim stones in a glass-like fjord.