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The Adventure Begins

Welcome to our blog for the second field campaign to the Fraser River! This project is part of the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Topics in Biogeochemical Cycles initiative and aims to quantify the flux, age, and composition of terrestrial organic carbon transported by large rivers to the ocean. Rivers are a critical link between carbon removed from the atmosphere by land plants and its eventual sequestration in the global ocean. Processing of this carbon during weathering and biological activity within drainage basins impacts its fate once it reaches the ocean. The Fraser River provides a valuable testing ground for the tools used in this project to quantify these processes owing to its wide range of bedrock geology and vegetation type, in addition to the natural state of its main stem, which is undammed. This year’s sampling campaign will capture low-flow conditions. This is also an opportunity to strengthen ties with our collaborators at the University of the Fraser Valley (who have been collecting time series samples in the floodplain for the past year) and expand outreach activities through exhibits of artwork by local schoolchildren.