Biogeochemistry of Lakes in the Mackenzie Delta

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, climate change, limnology, delta ecosystem, thermokarst, delta lakes, biogeochemistry, delta floodplain

Principal Investigator: Lesack, Lance (23)
Licence Number: 13330
Organization: Simon Fraser University
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2010 2009 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Issued: Jun 22, 2002
Project Team: Andrea Rie

Objective(s): Understanding of hydrologic and biogeochemical interactions among large rivers and lakes within their floodplains and the ecological roles of these systems remains limited. There are numerous major river deltas in the arctic circumpolar region, which are lake-rich because of thermokarst effects. These systems are complex and may collectively represent several hundred thousand lakes that function as critical aquatic habitat for fish, birds, and mammals. They are located in a region of the world where climate is changing more rapidly than anywhere else. The long term goal of this research is to develop a biogeochemical model for lakes in the Mackenzie Delta, and ultimately, a more generalized ecosystem model for floodplains and deltas of major world rivers that will facilitate assessing the effects of multiple stresses on rivers resulting from global change. Short range goals during the next several years will focus on further resolving patterns of water transparency to light and UV-radiation, nutrient supply and aquatic production among photosynthetic organisms and bacteria, plus development of simple models to describe the patterns and processes.