Water Balance Studies in the Coppermine River Basin: The Chain of Lakes Effect in Space and Time.
Principal Investigator: Maric, Robert (1)
Licence Number: 13178
Organization: University of Waterloo
Licenced Year(s): 2001
Issued: Apr 17, 2001
Project Team: Dr. John Gibson

Objective(s): The proposed research involves a baseline characterization of spatial and temporal variations in the water balance of an un-disturbed hydrologic system, within a region of intense diamond exploration and mining activity in the Northwest Territories. The research team will investigate and compare the hydrologic balances of several catchments in the Coppermine Drainage Basin, based on the concentration of stable isotopic species that naturally occur in all waters. Specifically, the research team will examine the concentration of naturally occuring, stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in water, and determine how these concentrations increase throughout the Drainage Basin as a result of evaporation.

Project Description: The research team will be based out of Yellowknife. Travel to the Ekati Mine site will be by helicopter; travel on site will be on foot. The research team will be in the field for approximately seven days. Characterization of the hydrologic balance of the system under investigation will be completed by the collection of several hundred water samples (each with an approximate volume of 30 ml) at different points along the Drainage Basin. The water samples that are collected will then be returned to the laboratory for further, detailed chemical analysis.