After completing our stations at the mouth of Amundsen Gulf, we transited to our next sampling area in the waters off of the Mackenzie River. We are sampling here to determine the role of freshwater from the river on the acidity of the ocean. The Mackenzie River is the largest river emptying into the Beaufort Sea; the only other being the Colville River which is one-tenth the size of the Mackenzie. Therefore the freshwater input from the Mackenzie may play an important role in the ocean chemistry of the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean. The low alkalinity water from the river and high pCO2 (partial pressure) leads to decreased buffering capacity and higher acidity in the coastal waters.
While sampling near the river mouth, the water was clearly filled with silt from the river and the freshwater signal was high indicating that the river is playing an important role in the ocean chemistry of the area.