Origin and Flow Dynamics of Perennial Groundwater in Continuous Permafrost Terrain using Isotopes and Noble Gases: Case Study of the Fishing Branch River, Northern Yukon, Canada (English)

In: Permafrost and Periglacial Processes   ;  23 ,  2  ;  91-106  ;  2012

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Perennially flowing groundwater discharges along a 15‐km section of the Fishing Branch River, Yukon causing open water during winter and numerous discrete springs near Bear Cave Mountain. Groundwater flow occurs in karstified marine carbonate rocks as well as in alluvial river talik(s). The PCO2 and δ13C indicate groundwater dissolves CO2 during recharge in organic soils and weathers limestone in the aquifer. These analyses show three groundwater chemistry groups and variability in surface water chemistry. The variations in water chemistry are related to differences in the rocks exposed in the recharge area. The δ18O and δ2H results show that groundwater represents approximately the annual average of precipitation based on samples collected in the region. Noble gases were used to determine that the recharge temperature lies between 0 and 5 °C which suggests that recharge happens during the summer. Groundwater ages, calculated using 3H‐3He dating, were found to be between 0 and 17.7 years. River discharge was measured during spring and summer under different water‐level conditions. Winter baseflow was calculated based on summer discharge measurements and the width of the river channel in winter. Although river flow decreases in winter, groundwater discharge maintains open water. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Table of contents – Volume 23, Issue 2

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91
Origin and Flow Dynamics of Perennial Groundwater in Continuous Permafrost Terrain using Isotopes and Noble Gases: Case Study of the Fishing Branch River, Northern Yukon, Canada
Utting, Nicholas / Clark, Ian / Lauriol, Bernard / Wieser, Martin / Aeschbach‐Hertig, Werner | 2012
107
Internal Structure of a Lithalsa in the Akkol Valley, Russian Altai Mountains
Iwahana, Go / Fukui, Kotaro / Mikhailov, Nikolai / Ostanin, Oleg / Fujii, Yoshiyuki | 2012
119
The Impact of Permafrost Disturbances and Sediment Loading on the Limnological Characteristics of Two High Arctic Lakes
Dugan, Hilary A. / Lamoureux, Scott F. / Lewis, Ted / Lafrenière, Melissa J. | 2012
127
Rock Glacier Activity in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Romania
Vespremeanu‐Stroe, Alfred / Urdea, Petru / Popescu, Răzvan / Vasile, Mirela | 2012
138
Active Layer Characteristics At Ten Borehole Sites In Alpine Permafrost Terrain, Switzerland
Zenklusen Mutter, Evelyn / Phillips, Marcia | 2012
152
Earth Hummocks in West Dartmoor, SW England: Characteristics, Age and Origin
Killingbeck, James / Ballantyne, Colin K. | 2012
162
Soil Organic Carbon and Its Relationship to Vegetation Communities and Soil Properties in Permafrost Areas of the Central Western Qinghai‐Tibet Plateau, China
Wu, Xiaodong / Zhao, Lin / Chen, Meijun / Fang, Hongbing / Yue, Guangyang / Chen, Ji / Pang, Qiangqiang / Wang, Zhiwei / Ding, Yongjian | 2012
170
In‐Situ Observation of Cracks in Frozen Soil using Synchrotron Tomography
Bhreasail, Á. Ní / Lee, P. D. / O'Sullivan, C. / Fenton, C. H. / Hamilton, R. / Rockett, P. / Connolley, T. | 2012