Sunday, March 24, 2013

Experimental channels

As the winter slowly comes to a close back here in Bozeman, MT we are ramping up in preparation for the summer field season. This May (for the first time!) our streamside experimental channels will be up and running. We're going to divert water from a cold stream (~5-10C in the summertime) and warm it up with heat exchangers in geothermal hot pots across a range of temps from ~5-30C (reflective of the natural temperature gradient found at Hengill). We'll have 15 total channels at 5 temperature treatments. In each of these channels we'll grow epilithic communities on small basalt tiles. These tiles will be used to see how temperature alters the structure and function of epilithic communities.

Here are the tiles (all 2000 of them!) on the office floor awaiting packaging and transport to Iceland.

The future home of our experimental channels. The big pool on the right is a 40C geothermal hotpot. The much smaller pool in the left foreground is an 80C hotpot. The heat exchangers will go into these hot pots to warm up the water for our channels.

Stay posted and we will update you with photos once we get these channels installed!