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Quesnel Lake Canada


Prince George, BC –– a brand new research report documents the real and chemical attributes, location, and degree of a sediment plume within Quesnel Lake for the first time since a my own tailings pond breach in August 2014, and discusses the initial and potential future results of the breach regarding the Quesnel Lake ecosystem.

The report is co-authored by five UNBC researchers and their collaborators. The influence of a catastrophic mine tailings impoundment spill into one of North America’s biggest fjord lakes: Quesnel Lake, British Columbia, Canada, ended up being posted online by the record Geophysical analysis Letters on May 5.

UNBC scientists Ellen Petticrew, Phil Owens, Sam Albers, Stephen Déry, and Nikolaus Gantner worked closely with scientists in the University of British Columbia together with Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to produce this paper.

Scientists utilized historic in-lake mooring information, newly gathered information, in addition to openly available information from British Columbia Ministry of this Environment, Environment Canada, plus the Mount Polley Mining Corporation evaluate pre-breach circumstances to alterations in the pond after the catastrophic failure of this tailings impoundment on Aug. 4, 2014.

UNBC researchers had been between the first on scene, because of the proximity of the Quesnel River analysis Centre to the location of the breach. The QRRC is based 23 kilometres through the Mount Polley Mine (eight kilometres since the crow flies) and 10 kilometres away by-boat from in which Hazeltine Creek comes into Quesnel Lake.

“The benefit of having a powerful set of researchers who have been currently collaborating on other projects in Quesnel Lake, was that people had the ability to respond quickly to make usage of sampling, ” states lead author and UNBC Geography Professor Dr. Ellen Petticrew. “Knowledge of lake movement pushes the chemical circumstances which affects biological visibility is extremely important information for assessing and answering an unplanned disaster with this scale and allowing us to judge the effect on the aquatic ecosystem.”

The study reporting on outcomes from Aug. 4 through to Oct. 4 discovered:

• a pond level rise of 7.7 centimetres had been accompanied by a temperature enhance of 1 to 2.5 C at the end of the lake.

• The turbidity of this water column had been increased within the West Arm of Quesnel Lake, suggesting the presence of a deposit plume at depths below 30 metres.

• Ultra-fine sediments remained suspended (394 cubic metres representing an area around 1, 000 square kilometres).

• The rocking regarding the liquid line, or seiching, redirected the plume to the North and East Arms of Quesnel Lake, also to the lake outflow, Quesnel River.

• Copper levels in sediment samples amassed from Quesnel Lake and Quesnel River are raised, often above deposit high quality recommendations for freshwater ecosystems.

The researchers also identify understanding spaces and worry the need for continued monitoring to determine exactly what lessons are discovered.

“UNBC scientists from Prince George campus plus the Quesnel River analysis Centre led just how by acting straight away to examine the effect associated with tailings pond breach, ” claims UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “Ongoing analysis is essential and UNBC researchers tend to be dedicated to thoroughly examining Quesnel Lake and documenting the post-spill environment.”

The study involved close collaboration with boffins from across British Columbia and involved graduate students and specialists. It absolutely was sustained by Forest Renewal BC, DFO, UBC, and UNBC.



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