Seasonal high-frequency measurements of discharge, water temperature, and specific conductivity from Canada Stream at F1, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (1990-2023, ongoing)


As part of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a systematic sampling program has been undertaken to monitor the glacial meltwater streams in this region. This package contains data pertaining to continuous monitored water quality and quantity parameters measured with automatic recording devices on streams in this region. Specifically, this metadata record describes the hydrology data set for the McMurdo Dry Valleys' Canada Stream at the F1 streamgage, located in the Fryxell Basin of Taylor Valley. Measurements commenced during the 1990-91 season and are ongoing. This dataset extends through the first half of the 2022-23 field season.

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Campbell CR10 dataloggers were used to record stream stage, water temperature, and conductivity in a network of stream gauges. Stage is monitored with pressure transducers; PSS-1 and PS-2 models form Paroscientific Corporation, and Accubars from Sutron Corporation. The pressure transducers measure the back pressure in orifice lines set into or above controls in the stream channel. In addition, some of the sites monitor water temperature and conductivity with either USGS minimonitor probes, or Campbell temperature/conductivity probes. Ratings are developed for the stage/discharge relationship at each site by measuring streamflow with current meters or portable flumes, according to standard USGS methods. Datum corrections to the stage are determined by periodically surveying the elevation of the orifice line to the control and nearby reference marks. Calibrations for the temperature and conductivity are assessed by measuring these parameters with portable field meters while simultaneously noting the readings from the gauge probes Data is downloaded into Campbell storage modules, and retrieved into pcs. From there, the data is sent to a USGS computer, where time discrepancies are resolved, and the data is loaded into ADAPS, a database system developed in the USGS for maintaining and processing water data. A determination for each site as to when the stream was flowing and when it was not is made. For water temperature and conductivity, bad data is deleted. Variable shifts are determined based on field calibration measurements, and other indicators. The shifts are applied to the remaining good data inside of ADAPS. The data is pulled out of ADAPS, and reformatted for input into ORACLE. Cases of water temperature below reasonable values are set to lower limits. A quality code is assigned to every value. The resulting data is uploaded into the ORACLE and the McMurdo database. For stage/discharge, bad data is deleted. Survey data is reviewed to compute weir elevations an datum corrections. A rating curve is developed graphically, based on available data, and entered into ADAPS. All applicable shifts and datum corrections are entered into ADAPS. All corrections and ratings are run against the good stage data to compute the discharge at each recording interval. The data is pulled out of ADAPS, and reformatted for input into ORACLE. A quality code is assigned to every value. The resulting data is uploaded into ORACLE and the McMurdo database. ADAPS was deprecated in 2012 in favor of the software Aquarius, manned by Chris Jaros, Steven Crisp and Rob Spencer, maintained by Inigo San Gil. Aquarius is similar to ADAPS in procedure.

In March 2021, data from the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 field seasons were replaced to correct a previously published error, in which discharge was reported in cubicFeetPerSecond (CFS) instead of litersPerSecond (l/s).


No data were collected during the 20-21 austral summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No B season for 1718 (storage module was empty).

Season 14/15 data fix due to timezone shift (Chris Jaros, San Gil, 2016)

Metadata enhanced in 2015, when transfered to the Drupal Ecological Information Management System. (San Gil)

The 'discrete_stream_gauge' table was created by Harry House in early 1994. It was first stored in an INGRES database, but was converted to ORACLE format in early 1996. Modifications were generally made each year after the initial creation in the early part of the year. It was transferred to INSTAA R in late 1997, where it was stored in a Microsoft Access database, and presented on the web in ascii, comma delimited files. In October, 1999 Mike Gooseff submitted the 1997-98 data to Denise Steigerwald (the data manager) in ascii, comma delimited files. In order to prepare the files for use in an Oracle database as well as a geographic information system, Denise created a field for "strmgageid" (stream gauge id), converted any time fields of 24:00 to 0:00 on the following day, combined the date and time fields into one date/time field, and separated the data into separate files for each station. Data which was previously presented according to decade collected is now presented according to location, and contains records from the start date of monitoring for a given stream gauge. The resulting files are available through the links provided above. In order to make the data more relational / useful in Oracle and ArcInfo, and generate links between different data and metadata fields, a dataset code was added to these files. Inigo San Gil produced metadata enhancements to meet LTER guidelines on 2013/14 New codes for the

COMMENTS column were created in 2005 after a meeting between the stream team and the information manager (Chris Gardner). These comments were added to stream data that were worked up after that point - they usually appear in the data around the 2003 season.


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