26 January 2009

Laguna Aguas Calientes

Originally Drafted 13 November 2008

Image: We arrived on the altiplano right after the nandu breeding season. We observed countless nandus with chicks. This is one of those precious shots. Credit: Ingrid Peate.

Today, we went to Laguna Aguas Calientes. For all the lower elevation work, I'm the multi-parameter water chemistry guy. I walk around with this incredibly slick and expensive instrument. I see how dirty i can get it and I continue to push it's functional capabilities to the limits. The second day in the field the pH meter on this unit failed. So, I'm now calling into question the accuracy of the other sensors. Fortunately, we are collected water samples and water chemistry analysis will be repeated in the lab. So, if there are problems with the data collected, we have a back up.

I don't have a lot to report here, but I do have some great images of the area.

Image: Eric Fleming background and Eric Pinto foreground. We're setting up to start data collection at numerous spring-fed pools along the outer edge of Laguna Aguas Calientes.

Image: While it may look like I'm getting ready to take a nap. I'm actually collecting data on this pools water chemistry.

Image: A view of the freshwater ponds adjacent Laguna Aguas Calientes. In the not too distant geological past, these small ponds were likely part of the Laguna; as the Laguna receded, these spring-fed pools have become isolated.

It makes me wonder what interesting arthropod communities are waiting to be studied right here where we sit? How may new species are beneath my feet?

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