Automated lagrangian water-quality assessment system (ALWAS) measurements of North Slope lakes and the Bering Glacier, Alaska

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



ALWAS is a relatively inexpensive, free-floating, sail-powered or jet-driven water quality measuring and watershed evaluation buoy. It is capable of measuring a data point with multiple parameters as rapidly as every 40 seconds. Data is transmitted for real-time viewing and is stored for future retrieval and analysis. The stored data is easily downloaded into geographic database (ESRI shapefile) and spreadsheet formats. ALWAS uses state-of-the-art sensors to measure water quality parameters and GPS data. The buoys presently measures depth, temperature, conductivity, salinity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, pH, oxidation-reduction potential, turbidity, chlorophyll-a, blue-green algae, nitrates, ammonium, and chlorides. In a collaborative effort, the Michigan Tech Research Institute, the University of Michigan College of Engineering Marine Hydrodynamic Lab, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Energy, ConocoPhillips and the North Slope Science Initiative have demonstrated the ability of ALWAS to easily and thoroughly sample Alaskan North Slope lakes. The system provides a cost-effective means for local, state and federal agencies, as well as industry and academic institutions, to assess water quality on the North Slope. The buoy has also been used at the Bering Glacier to assess the status of ice marginal lakes. This presentation will summarize these field observations and will describe the ALWAS buoy.

Publisher's Statement

© 2007 Arctic Division AAAS

Publication Title

2007 Arctic Science Conference