On the geochemical heterogeneity of rivers draining into the straits and channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Matthew B. Alkire*, Andrew D. Jacobson, Gregory O. Lehn, Robie W. Macdonald, Matthew W. Rossi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ten rivers across northern Canada and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) were sampled during spring 2014 and summer 2015 to investigate their geochemical heterogeneity for comparison against larger North American (i.e., Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers) and Siberian rivers. In general, rivers draining the western and/or northern regions of the study area have higher solute concentrations and lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios compared to rivers draining the eastern and/or southern regions. The inorganic geochemical signatures largely reflect the bedrock geology, which is predominately carbonate in the western and/or northern regions and silicate in the eastern and/or southern regions. Riverine δ18O values primarily correlate with latitude, with only a few exceptions. Measurements of total alkalinity (TA) were combined with a regional analysis of bedrock geology and extrapolated to produce a range for the mean characteristic TA of rivers draining into the straits and channels of the CAA (628–819 µeq kg−1). Combining this estimate with contributions from the Mackenzie River yields a revised North American river runoff TA of 935–1182 µeq kg−1, which is much lower than that of the Mackenzie River (1540 µeq kg−1). This lower concentration suggests that TA may not be used to distinguish between North American and Siberian river contributions in regions such as Davis Strait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2527-2547
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume122
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • geochemistry
  • rivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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