SS3.05 Land-use, Groundwater and Lotic Ecosystems
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 11:15:00 AM
Location: Colwood
 
DevitoKJ, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA, kevin.devito@ualberta.ca
Smerdon, B, , University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA, bsmerdon@ualberta.ca
Ferone, J, M, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA, jferon@hotmail.com
Mendoza, C, , University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA, Carl.Mendoza@ualberta.ca
Creed, I, , University of Western Ontario, London, CANADA, icreed@julian.uwo.ca
 
Landscape controls on groundwater-surface water and nutrient interactions in peatland-pond complexes of the Boreal Plain, Alberta, Canada.
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We examined the hydrologic-nutrient interactions of three wetlands (peatland-pond complexes) in contrasting topographic and geomorpologic locations, as part of a long-term research project to evaluate the potential impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on wetlands in the Alberta landscape. Preliminary results show a range of groundwater - surface water interactions among the different landforms, with recharge dominating complexes on topographic high till moraines and groundwater flow through dominating in wetlands located on the sand-gravel outwash and low-lying clay plain. A combination of hydrometric, geochemical and isotopic measurements reveal that evaporation and precipitation are the dominant components of the water balance of all three wetlands. However, water and nutrient cycling is strongly influenced by patterns of groundwater flow between mineral uplands, peatlands and adjacent ponds. These interactions differed with landscape locations among the wetlands in response to differences in storage and connection with peat and mineral substrates, and isolation from larger groundwater flow systems. Riparian peatland sediments, till and gravel overburden exhibit large ranges of phosphorous adsorption capacities and together with large ranges in groundwater interactions may explain variable groundwater and pond concentrations. Our findings hold important implications for adaptive landuse planning and aquatic system management in northern Alberta.