Carbon Monitoring in the East Branch of the Mackenzie River Delta

A technician from ARI takes a measurement of salinity and temperature at the water monitoring site at the Inuvik town dock

Main Project Contact:
Joel McAlister

Project Start Date:
January 2012

Project End Date:

Project Name:
Carbon Monitoring: Time-series water quality parameters in the East Branch of the Mackenzie River Delta

ARI Team:
Greg Elias
Edwin Amos
Ryan McLeod 
ARI has partnered with Dr. Aleck Wang of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to monitor water quality parameters in the East Channel of the Mackenzie River near the town of Inuvik. The goal of this monitoring program is to take time-series measurements of the carbon system in the Mackenzie River, a major Arctic river in the western Canadian Arctic. This work is a first step towards long-term measurements and studies of the impacts of global warming on the carbon system in the Mackenzie River, its estuary, and adjacent coastal waters.

The objective of this research is to examine the intra and inter-annual variability of the Carbon system within the east channel of the Mackenzie River.

The Mackenzie Delta is a part of the Mackenzie River estuary, located between the Richardson Mountains on the west and the Caribou Hills and Richards Island on the east (Mackay 1956).  The study site is located in the Mackenzie Delta region, near the Inuvik Boat Launch, on the East Branch of the Mackenzie River.


Technicians from ARI collect a bottle of water once per month and treat the sample with mercuric chloride. Water salinity, temperature, and depth are measured in-situ at the sampling site.  Water samples are filtered into glass bottles and shipped to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for further analysis. At the Woods Hole lab, pH and alkalinity are measured along with a variety of carbon parameters, including partial pressure of CO2 and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC).

Sampling occurs monthly throughout the year.

External Partners:
Dr. Aleck Wang, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Physical sciences, limnology, water chemistry, carbon dioxide, Mackenzie River, carbon, climate change





Updated May 2021