Biogeochemistry of Lakes in the Mackenzie Delta

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: hydrology, aquatic environment, carbon, biogeochemistry, delta floodplain, ultraviolet radiation, ecosystem model

Principal Investigator: Lesack, Lance (23)
Licence Number: 13612
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: May 25, 2004
Project Team: Craig Emme

Objective(s): Understanding of hydrologic and biogeochemical interactions among large rivers and lakes within their flood plains 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 flood plains and deltas of major world rivers that will facilitate assessing the effects of multiple stresses on rivers resulting from global change. In particular, this field season will focus on; 1) assessing the stripping of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon from Mackenzie River water during flow through the Delta; 2) direct measurement of underwater levels of ultraviolet radiation among lakes with differing compositions of coloured and non-coloured DOC; and 3) assessing effects of lake DOC levels and degree of photo-bleaching on production of peroxide.