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Aquatic Site Marker
Each site has up to eight groundwater wells outfitted with sensors that measure high temporal resolution groundwater elevation (pressure transducer-based), temperature, and specific conductance. Met. Station
A met. station is located on the shore of most aqutic sites and collects data comparable with flux tower measurements at terrestrial sites. Lake and wadeable rivers also have an above water met. station on buoy. These data are unique with different sensors and data frequencies due to power and data storage constraints. Sensor Station
Wadeable streams have a sensor station near the top of the reach and the bottom of the reach; non-wadeable rivers have a sensor station on a buoy and one near the bank; Lakes have an inlet sensor station, an outlet sensor station and a sensor station on a buoy. Data collection varies by type of sensor station. Click on sensor station on the map to learn more. Staff gauge/camera
The staff gauge measures gauge height, in meters, measured at lakes, wadeable rivers and non-wadeable streams. A phenocam is installed near most gauges. It collects RGB and IR images of the lake, river, or stream vegetation, stream surface, and stream gauge every 15 minutes. Observational Sampling
This map depicts the spatial layout of this field site. Please note that some locations may have moved over time due to logistics, safety and science requirements.
This map was updated on February 11, 2019
Construction Status for this Site
Oksrukuyik Creek is a wadeable stream located a short drive from the Toolik Field Station, an environmental science facility operated by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Teams working out of Toolik have studied the biological and biogeochemical attributes of Oksrukuyik Creek for decades. NEON data will contribute to these studies to help better understand tundra streams, which are rapidly changing along with the Arctic climate.
Land cover in the Oksrukuyik Creek watershed consists of moist tundra underlain by permafrost. Although dwarf birch and dwarf willow line the banks of Oksrukuyik Creek, these species rarely grow taller than one meter and thus offer little shading. Consequently, Oksrukuyik Creek may be exposed to 24 hour daylight periods during the summer.
Total planned data products for this site: 78
Site Host & Access Site Host:
Bureau of Land Management
Is additional non-NEON research allowed at this site?:
Yes, non-NEON research activities are allowed in this area. Researchers must obtain their own permits with the site host(s).
Site Characteristics Latitude/Longitude:68.66975, -149.14302 Elevation:836 m Mean Annual Temperature:-4C/24.8F Mean Annual Precipitation:331 mm Dominant NLCD Classes:
USGS HUC: h19060402
Few streams in the NEON network exhibit a flow regime as unique as Oksrukuyik Creek. Discharge falls to zero between October and March, as the stream remains entirely frozen during this period. Discharge rises rapidly following the thaw that occurs between March and June, with catastrophic ice floes and high flow events characterizing this period.
Discharge remains steady through the summer, with occasional flood events driven by rainstorms. Base discharge steadily decreases from midsummer to early fall as snowmelt declines. As the winter freeze-up begins in September, discharge rapidly approaches zero as any precipitation transitions to snow and remains frozen.
Oksrukuyik Creek is an oligotrophic, P-limited tundra stream. This clear-water stream drains several lakes and has little natural spring or glacial influence. The majority of nutrient fluxes occur during summer months, during times of snowmelt and summer base flow. Stream nutrient inputs are dominated by overland and subsurface flows. Hyporheic exchange is important for nutrient cycling in these ecosystems, and the size of the hyporheic zone is dictate by the spatial and temporal extent of the permafrost thaw.
Oksrukuyik Creek has been studied for several years as part of the Arctic LTER Streams project. This stream, like other tundra streams on the North Slope, freezes solid during winter. The fauna of the stream, invertebrates (e.g.,
Baetis spp., Brachycentrus sp., Orthocladius spp.) need to adapt to life histories that can withstand freezing conditions, including diapause or “antifreeze” compounds, and fish to migrate to deep lakes or rivers during winter.
The Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is found in the stream, however slimy sculpin (
Cottus cognatus) may also be present. Plant life includes liverworts ( Solenostoma sp.) and bryophytes ( Schistidium agassizii), and filamentous algae includes the red alga Draparnaldia and Cyanophyte Spirogyra (Harvey et al. 1998). Geology
Glacial and alluvial deposits. Quaternary.
Data Collection Types Airborne Remote Sensing Surveys
Remote sensing surveys of this site collect lidar, spectrometer and high resolution RGB camera data.
This site has one meteorological station located in the riparian area. The met station is outfitted with the a subset of the same sensors used at terrestrial sites. Measurements include wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, shortwave radiation, and PAR.
This site has one phenocam near the stream.
Surface Water Sensor Stations
This site has one upstream sensor station and one downstream sensor station. Measurements include PAR, temperature, water quality [specific conductivity, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen content, pH, turbidity, and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (only downstream)], and nitrate is measured at the downstream station.
Eight groundwater wells throughout the site collect specific conductivity, water tempertaure, and elevation of groundwater.
Field ecologists collect the following types of observational data at this site:
Aquatic Microbes (surface water, benthic)
Plants and Macroalgae
Water and Particulates
Other Domain 18 Field Sites
Core Terrestrial | Alaska
Distance: 6 mi.
Relocatable Aquatic | Lake | Alaska
Distance: 12 mi.
Relocatable Terrestrial | Alaska
Distance: 252 mi.
Field Operations Office
3352 College Rd.
Fairbanks, AK 99709