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Coupled landscape-lake evolution in High Arctic Canada

Citation

Van Hove, PD and Belzile, C and Gibson, JAE and Vincent, WF, Coupled landscape-lake evolution in High Arctic Canada, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 43, (5) pp. 533-546. ISSN 0008-4077 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1139/E06-003

Abstract

We profiled five ice-covered lakes and two ice-covered fiords of Ellesmere Island at the northern limit of High Arctic Canada to examine their environmental characteristics, and to evaluate the long-term limnological consequences of changes in their surrounding landscape through time (landscape evolution). All of the ecosystems showed strong patterns of thermal, chemical, and biological stratification with subsurface temperature maxima from 0.75 to 12.15 °C; conductivities up to 98.1 mS cm-1 (twice that of seawater) in some bottom waters; pronounced gradients in nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, dissolved inorganic and organic carbon, manganese, iron, and oxygen; and stratified photosynthetic communities. These ecosystems form an inferred chronosequence that reflects different steps of landscape evolution including marine embayments open to the sea, inlets blocked by thick sea ice (Disraeli Fiord, Taconite Inlet), perennially ice-capped, saline lakes isolated from the sea by isostatic uplift (Lakes A, C1, C2), and isolated lakes that lose their ice cover in summer. The latter are subject to entrainment of saline water into their upper water column by wind-induced mixing (Lake Romulus; Lake A in 2000), or complete flushing of their basins by dilute snowmelt (Lake C3 and Char Lake, which lies 650 km to the south of the Ellesmere lakes region). This chronosequence illustrates how changes in geomorphology and other landscape properties may influence the limnology of coastal, high-latitude lakes, and it provides a framework to explore the potential impacts of climate change. © 2006 NRC Canada.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Research Field:Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water
Objective Field:Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments
Author:Gibson, JAE (Dr John Gibson)
ID Code:41995
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2007-05-02
Downloads:0

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