An investigation of arsenic speciation and toxicity in Baker Creek sediments from Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada
Principal Investigator: Nash, Tyler J (1)
Licence Number: 15055
Organization: Queen's University
Licenced Year(s): 2012
Issued: May 15, 2012
Project Team: Field Assistent (Field Assistent, Queen's University)

Objective(s): To assess the sediment quality of Baker Creek by analyzing factors influencing arsenic mobility from sediments to overlying water and assessing the toxicology of the sediments using exposure tests on indicator organisms.

Project Description: The objective of this research project is to assess the sediment quality of Baker Creek. This will be achieved by analyzing factors influencing arsenic mobility from sediments to overlying water and assessing the toxicology of the sediments using exposure tests on indicator organisms.

Core samples of Baker Creek sediments will be taken by the researchers using aluminum pipes driven into the ground by hand. Surface water will be bottled and transported back to Yellowknife where it will be filtered and its chemical state preserved using acid. Pore-water chemistry will be analyzed using special probes called “peepers” by burying them in sediments and allowing them to equilibrate with the sediments over a period of several weeks. The water samples and sediment cores will then be sent back to Queen’s University for chemical analysis using specialized equipment that cannot be brought into the field. The toxicity of the sediments will be evaluated by exposing them fathead minnow larvae for 14 days and checking for fatalities.

The research team will live and work out of Yellowknife for the duration of the field season. They will communicate with interested community members regarding the nature of the research when appropriate.

A thesis report will be made available to the public and the project may be presented at conferences when appropriate.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 4, 2012 to July 31, 2012.