As part of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a series of bodies of water (stream and lakes) have been monitored for dissolved organic compounds. Using fluorometers to detect the emission signatures of several organic compounds, we re-analize water samples acquired in the context of other MCM LTER monitoring programs.
Knowledge of the McMurdo Dry Valley (MDV) lakes is limited by winter access, a period which is most relevant in understanding the habitability of other icy worlds and critical to understanding the overall function of these lakes. Owing to the lack of winter access, data that normally require human presence are incomplete. Our goal was to conduct the first year-round investigation of the biogeophysics of these unique lakes. An important part of the McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) is evaluating carbon and nitrogen budgets in perennial ice-covered lakes.