Impacts of Retrogressive Thaw Slumps on the Geochemistry of Permafrost Catchments, Stony Creek Watershed, NWT

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Title: Impacts of Retrogressive Thaw Slumps on the Geochemistry of Permafrost Catchments, Stony Creek Watershed, NWT
Authors: Malone, Laura
Date: 2013
Abstract: Retrogressive thaw slumps are one of the most dramatic thermokarst landforms in periglacial regions. This thesis investigates the impacts of two of the largest hillslope thaw slumps on the geochemistry of periglacial streams on the Peel Plateau, Northwest Territories. It aims to describe the inorganic geochemistry of runoff across active mega-slumps, impacted and pristine tundra streams, as well as that of the ice-rich permafrost exposed in the slump headwalls. Slump runoff is characterized by elevated suspended sediments (911 g/L), high conductivity (2700 µS/cm), and high SO42- ( up to 2078 ppm). The runoff originates as a solute-rich meltwater near the slump headwall, and leaches and re-dissolves soluble salts (e.g., gypsum) as it flows along the mudflow. Conductivity increases until the runoff mixes with pristine tundra streams, diluting the slump runoff signal. SO42-/Cl- is used as a tracer to isolate the slump runoff signal in impacted waters, and suggests that the contribution of slump runoff to the Peel River has been increasing since the 1960s.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24129
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-2997
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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