Expedition Overview

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
school children.

The map below shows the drainage basins of all the rivers in the larger Emerging Topics in Biogeochemical Cycles (ETBC) World Rivers Project