Streamflow monitoring of the Onyx River in the Wright Valley and various other glacier melt streams in the Dry Valleys
Entry ID: K161_1969_1991_NZ_2

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Summary
Abstract: Monitoring of the stream flow of glacial streams in the Dry Valleys was monitored from the 1969/1970 summer until the 1990/1991 season. The data was used to contribute to the understanding of the mass balance of the glacier-river-lake systems in the Dry Valleys because these fluctuations are indicators of climate change in this part of Antarctica. Most of the work was concentrated on a study of the Onyx River system in the Wright Valley. This river is of particular interest because it is the largest of the very few streams that occur in Antarctica, and because it is the only river that has been studied where the stream flow is derived entirely from glacier melt and melting permafrost. Stream flow monitoring was conducted at two sites on the Onyx River in the Wright Valley, one near where the river flows into Lake Vanda (constructed in the 1969/70 field season) and the other 2km downstream from the lake at the terminal of the Lower Wright Glacier (constructed in the 1972/73 field season). The second site needed to be above the confluence of the meltwater stream from the Clarke Glacier to monitor the flow contribution of the Lower Wright and Greenwood Glaciers to the Onyx River, the source of the Onyx River. Other glacier meltwater streams which might contribute to the Onyx River flow, including the meltwater streams from the Clarke, Goodspeed, Hart, Meserve and the Bartley Glaciers were monitored later in the programme during various years (Streams observed in the 1979/80-1982/83 field seasons when a flow monitor was erected on the Clarke Glacier stream and then another installed on each of the Meserve and Bartley Glacier streams in the 1983/84 seasons). In the 1988/89 season, a project was undertaken to extend the spatial scale of the study and stream flow monitoring stations were erected near the outlet of the Upper Victoria Lake in Victoria Valley, downstream from the Garwood Glacier Lake in the Garwood Valley and at three sites on the Adams and Miers streams in the Miers Valley. Water flow was generally monitored continuously from the time the water first went over the monitoring station until the flow ceased or the party had to leave the field. Yearly maintenance and often rebuilding was required on each weir/monitoring station due to destruction during the winter months or water flow damage. When water flow was higher than the weirs, stream gauging was conducted to gain accurate flow discharge rates. Water samples were collected at some sites and analysed for suspended sediment particles. Water temperature was recorded on the Onyx River where a thermistor was installed in the river downstream of the weir and water temperature readings were taken every six hours for the duration of the monitoring sessions. These were to be compared with the Vanda ground and air temperature as a help towards understanding the valleys heat budget. In the 1980/81 season, a hydraulic geometry survey of the Onyx River at ten selected sites along its course, from Lake Brownworth to Lake Vanda was surveyed. At each site a cross section and long section was surveyed. Flow measurements, details of channel structure and channel material types were obtained. The survey was repeated in the following season.

Parent DIF
This data set description is a member of a collection. The collection is described in
K161_1969_1991_NZ_1


Geographic Coverage
 N: -77.25 S: -78.25  E: 164.0  W: 160.0

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1969-11-01
Stop Date: 1991-01-31


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > ONYX RIVER
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > WRIGHT VALLEY
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Science Keywords
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >SURFACE WATER >DISCHARGE/FLOW    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >SURFACE WATER >RIVERS/STREAMS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >SURFACE WATER >TOTAL SURFACE WATER    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >SURFACE WATER >WATERSHED CHARACTERISTICS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >SUSPENDED SOLIDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >WATER TEMPERATURE    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
INLAND WATERS


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
GROUND STATIONS    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Quality
The data was collected at the time by the New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development, a part of the Division of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR). The DSIR was disbanded and several new organisations were formed. At this time, the investigator was concerned about the survival of the large amount of data generated by this project. In the late 1990s while working with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), he collated all of the hydrological data, had it checked for quality and then permanently filed in the NIWA electronic archives. A copy was also supplied to the University of New Hampshire, USA, who at the time had continued some work on the Onyx River. The investigator still holds the files of the programmes, correspondence etc. for the period that the Ministry of Works ran the programme. All of the reports were also submitted to Antarctica New Zealand as their Science Reports and copies of these are retained in their archives. Please contact either the investigator or Antarctica New Zealand for more information.


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Data Center
Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Institute, New Zealand    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/

Data Center Personnel
Name: SHULAMIT GORDON
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Personnel
TREVOR CHINN
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 443 4333
Email: t.chinn at xtra.co.nz
Contact Address:
Rapid 20, Muir Road
Lake Hawea
City: Wanaka
Postal Code: 9382
Country: New Zealand


CEISHA POIROT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: c.poirot at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


SHULAMIT GORDON
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Publications/References
Mosley, M.P. 1988 Bedload transport and sediment yield in the Onyx River, Antarctica. Earth surface processes and landforms 13: 51-67

Mosley, M.P. Valentine, E.M. 1985 The MWD hydrological/glaciological programme in Antarctica. WS 957. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Mosley, M.P. 1991 Strategies for mitigating impacts of climatic change. Antarctica and global climatic change. Harris, C.M., Stonehouse, B. (eds), Boca Raton, FL Lewis Publishers 873715934

Chinn, T. Woods, A.D.H. 1984 Hydrology and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica; annual report for 1981-82. WS 1017. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. 1978 Hydrology-glaciology programme in Antarctica. New Zealand Antarctic record 1(1): 7-9

Chinn, T.J. (comp) 1980 A revised reprint of hydrological research report, Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1970-71. Ross Dependency Research Committee Report 639

Chinn, T.J. 1980 Hydrological research report, Dry Valleys, Antarctica 1974-75. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. (comp) 1981 Hydrological research report, Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1975-76.WS 473. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. (comp) 1983 Hydrology and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica; annual report for 1976-77 and 1977-78. WS 531. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. Cumming, R.J. (comps) 1983 Hydrological and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica; annual report for 1978-79. WS 810. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. Oliver, A.K.C. (comps) 1983 Hydrological and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica; annual report for 1979-80. WS 808. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J. Maze, I. (comps) 1983 Hydrological and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica; annual report for 1980-81. WS 900. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J.H. 1979 Impact of “extreme” events in the Dry Valley area. New Zealand Antarctic record 2(2): 9-13

Chinn, T.J.H. 1981 Review of Antarctic hydrology-glaciology programme. WS 472. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J.H. 1981 Hydrology and climate in the Ross Sea area. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 11(4): 373-386

Chinn, T.J.H. 1982 Rationale for Antarctic hydrology-glaciology programme. WS 704. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J.H. Dickson, R.H.J. 1988 Hydrology and glaciology, Dry Valleys, Antarctica: Antarctic research: annual report for 1982-83. WS 1188. Christchurch New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development

Chinn, T.J.H. 1990 The Dry Valleys. Antarctica: the Ross Sea region. Hatherton, T. (ed). Wellington DSIR Publishing 477025862 DSIR information series 165

Anderton, P.W. Fenwick, J.K. (comps) 1975 Dry Valleys Antarctica: 1973-1974. Hydrological Research annual report no. 37

Fenwick, J.K. Anderton, P.W. (comps) 1975 Dry Valleys Antarctica: 1972-1973. Hydrological Research annual report no. 34

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2009-06-23
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-06-30

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