mapWatersheds of the six largest arctic rivers, all of which were part of the original PARTNERS project (2003-2007) and are now included in the Arctic Great Rivers Observatory. Map by Greg Fiske, WHRC.


The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project measures the flux of water-borne constituents in the six Great Arctic Rivers: the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma rivers in Siberia , and the Yukon and Mackenzie rivers in North America. Together, these rivers deliver the majority of the continental fresh water to the Arctic Ocean, the most landlocked and freshwater dominated of all the Earth's oceans. As a component of the Arctic Observing Network (AON), Arctic-GRO is providing critical observations needed to understand the changing Arctic.

The Arctic-GRO team includes scientists from the United States, Russia, and Canada. Measurements are conducted at downstream locations that capture the vast majority of runoff from the major arctic watersheds. The resulting data are being used to test hypotheses about the magnitude, controls and ecological significance of riverine input to the Arctic Ocean, and are providing new insights into inter-annual variability and trends in these fluxes.