Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scientific team studies North Slope soils

Chien-Lu Ping examines soil for a color determination.

Professor Chien-Lu Ping is on the North Slope the first two weeks of July leading a team of six scientists to complete the fourth field season of sampling different ice-wedge polygon types found across the patterned ground of arctic Alaska.

The team includes Ping and Research Associate Gary Michaelson of SNRE, soil scientists Julie Jastrow and Roser Matamala and science technicians Tim Vugteveen and Jeremy Lederhouse from the Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.

The team sampled soils near Franklin Bluffs last Thursday.
Michaelson said sampling involves collecting cores and doing soil descriptions across pattern types at sites on the coastal plain from Barrow and Prudhoe Bay to the northern foothills of the Brooks Range at Happy Valley, Sagwon and Imnaviat Creek. Soil samples and descriptions are being used for evaluation and modeling of soil carbon stocks and organic matter decomposability in the changing arctic environment.

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