Active layer growth and groundwater chemistry, Daring Lake, NWT
Principal Investigator: English, Michael C (24)
Licence Number: 13272
Organization: Cold Regions Research Centre,Wilfrid Laurier University
Licenced Year(s): 2003 2002 2001 2000
Issued: Dec 13, 2001
Project Team: Dave Turcotte, Dave Woods, Jason Venkiteswaran, Rob Maric

Objective(s): The objective of the proposed reseach is to quantify differences in undisturbed arctic tundra groundwater and surface water chemistry related to active depth and physical/biological characteristics including soil moisture, temperature, organic content and vegetation. The study will focus on these changes at different spatial scales in the Daring Lake catchment, NWT. The 2001 field work will focus on the installation of instruments in the active layer while it is at its most pronounced just prior to initiation of freeze-back. During the 2001 field season, all Daring Lake subbasins will be sampled for water chemistry (major cations, anions and stable isotopes of the water molecule). To develop more specific information on this highly important watershed area, an intensive study site, which will include drive point piezometers, time domain reflectometer probes and thermister cables will be set up in one of the Daring Lake subbasins.

Project Description: The crew will fly from Yellowknife to the Tundra Ecosystem Research Station camp on Daring Lake from BHP (Ekati Mine) by helicopter. The research team itinerary consists of: (1) setting up the camp; (2) sampling all of the major streams flowing into Daring Lake for chemistry and instantaneous flow; (3) walking through several basins to decide on an intensive sampling site; and (4) installing drive point piezometers, thermister cables and soil moisture probes (TDR probes) into the ground at pre-selected sites and once the piezometers are installed, conducting a bail test to determine hydraulic conductivitiy (the velocity of ground water moving through the ground). Samples of water will be extracted from the piezometers to later analyze for chemistry. The crew will depart by helicopter to Ekati Mine of BHP and from there by fixed wing aircraft to Yellowknife and from there to Toronto and home to Waterloo, Ontario.