October 15, 2012 Dia cinco en Costa Rica DIC DOC Weir Carbon and Bats… OH MY! Follow the path in the woods
The morning began with a 6am hike through the jungle to a stream where Dr. Oberbauer and his scientist friends, Dr. Dave Genereux and Dr. Chris Osburn from North Carolina State University were taking water samples. They are looking at the Interbasin Flow Rate (IFR), Dissolved Organic Carbons (DIC), Dissolved Inorganic Carbons (DOC) pH, how alkaline (non acidic, basic, having a pH of greater than 7) the water is and how much Carbon sits just above the stream. Now it is true while this sounds a bit complicated, under perfect circumstances it could take a about 15 minutes to collect all of those samples.
"Take me to the river, drop me in the water Take me to the river, drop me in the water, water I don't know why I love her like I do All the trouble that you put me through... ...I love to stay Take me to the river (Take me to the river), drop me in the water (Drop me in the water) Dip me in the river (Take me to the river), drop me in the water (Drop me in the water, water) Thanks Talking Heads for this great song!"
But it took much longer because of the conditions of the environment. It was super muddy, which made things extremely slippery and the bank of the stream wasn’t in the best place to allow these guys to get their samples without falling in. So we found an old piece of flat, previously cut, wood which served as a great table for the instruments. It took a balancing act for each guy to get down to the stream. No one fell, but I was ready with my camera in case someone did!
I know the above sounds like a mouthful of “stuff”, but really it is quite simple. The Interbasin is really a low lying stream. Simple right? DICs have to do with carbon that are from nonliving things, like minerals in the rocks and DOCs have to do with carbon that has to do with any living or once living things.
Dr. Oberbauer has been coming to La Selva for many years, he even showed me trees that he planted in 1979! He thinks that one day they may have to come down, so that if there is a storm, they will not crash the building.
Dr. Genreux has been coming here for a long time as well and even built a weir and another one too. A weir is not a damn, although it sort of looks like one. A weir is really a system designed to take measurements of the discharge of water. It is quite elaborate.
No sooner did I arrive back at my Casa Uno then my buzzer rings and it is Diego. He was letting me know that he was heading out to another tower. Now I could have said “No, I have to work on journals and videos” , but I couldn’t. Who wants to come all the way to La Selva and not explore and learn more? So twenty minutes later I was out the door.
So off to the Carbono Tower we went. Diego gathered data from the measurement boxes and I took photos. It was a beautiful day. It was also nice to see that all of the instruments were working, measuring, carbon levels and wind in three different directions with the Eddy Covariance System.
Bird of the day Blue-Gray Tanager
Espanol: Tangara azulja Latin:Thraupis episcopus