CIMP167_ Changes in dissolved organic carbon quality and quantity: Implications for aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality for northern communities

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Large stores of carbon are currently immobilized within permafrost, but a warming climate has the potential to release this carbon as dissolved organic carbon into the surrounding environment, with the potential to impact drinking water resources and aquatic health. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) plays a number of important roles within the environment, ranging from acting as important biogeochemical and nutrient energy sources, to forming carcinogenic disinfection by-products as chlorine is added during water treatment. How DOC reacts is dependent upon its quality, yet little is known about either DOC quality or the fate of DOC in northern environments. The purpose of this research is to understand processes dictating DOC fate in northern aquatic environments in order to help predict how a warming climate could influence DOC quantity and quality. Using a space-for-time approach to represent differences between ‘warmer’ and ‘colder’ areas, water was collected from different aquatic environments including lakes, ponds, creeks, and subsurface peat water from three sites along a latitudinal gradient: Yellowknife, Wekweètì, and Daring Lake. In addition, baseline conditions were to be determined using historical geochemical records of the Yellowknife, Cameron, and Marian rivers. Water samples were analysed for concentrations of DOC and supplementary water quality parameters, in addition to water isotopes. DOC was characterized using ultra-violet and visible absorbance, size-exclusion chromatography, along with other techniques (i.e: PARAFAC and C:N ratios). In addition, laboratory experiments were conducted on select samples to see how easily DOC degrades via microbial or photolytic drivers. A wide range of DOC quality and quantity were encountered, with highest concentrations found in subsurface environments and lower concentrations in surface waters. Measures of DOC quality determined large, aromatic, humic molecules to be present within the subsurface around Yellowkni

Version 2.0.0
Data Steward Email
Data Collection Organization University of Waterloo
Data Upload Organization Government of the Northwest Territories
Progress Code completed
Maintenance Frequency Code unknown
Topic Category Code inlandWaters
Spatial Extent -133.745° 61.148°, -111.582° 68.349° (W S, E N)
Temporal Extent 2014-07-01 to 2016-10-04
Date Published
Alternate Formats FGP-HNAP ISO:19115-2 (XML) , W3C DCAT (XML) , W3C DCAT (JSON-LD)


University of Waterloo. 2022-04-30. "CIMP167_ Changes in dissolved organic carbon quality and quantity: Implications for aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality for northern communities" (dataset). 2.0.0. DataStream.

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