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Greenhouse gas concentrations and fluxes in the Great Whale River (Nunavik), as well as in the associated tributaries and source waters in northern Québec, are largely unknown. Yet, rivers are likely to play a vital role in regulating the greenhouse gas balance of the atmosphere, particularly in Arctic and Subarctic regions. Our previous research revealed persistent sources of potent greenhouse gases (especially methane) within the Great Whale River drainage basin, which have the potential to substantially alter greenhouse gas concentrations in the associated streams, and, ultimately, in the Great Whale River and further to Hudson Bay.
This project is designed to evaluate greenhouse gas dynamics (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) in the lower 100 km reach of the Great Whale River, including associated tributaries and other nearby rivers that discharge into Hudson Bay.
The work includes a field component and an analytical component in the laboratory. The fieldwork is taking place via the CEN research station at Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik (55° 16' N, 77° 45' W), near the mouth of the Great Whale River, with access to sampling sites by helicopter and boat. Measurements of dissolved gases are by headspace gas extraction followed by laboratory analysis by gas chromatography, and by in situ measurements using semiconductor and infrared-based, continuous-flow detectors.
This project is supported by NSERC and the CFREF program Sentinel North (BOND). It is a contribution to the CEN Research Axis 1 - Northern landscapes and ecosystems, specifically Theme 1.2 - Structure and function of northern terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and Theme 1.3 - Observation tools and indicators to monitor the northern environment. The results of this research will be reported at the completion of the each major phase of the study, and also disseminated via the international scientific literature.
Matveev, A., Laurion, I., Vincent, W.F., 2018. Methane and carbon dioxide emissions from thermokarst lakes on mineral soils. Arctic Science, 4(4): 584-604. DOI: 10.1139/as-2017-0047.
Crevecoeur, S., Vincent, W.F., Comte, J., Matveev, A., Lovejoy, C., 2017. Diversity and potential activity of methanotrophs in high methane-emitting permafrost thaw ponds. PLoS one, 12(11): e0188223. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188223.
Deshpande, B., Maps, F., Matveev, A., Vincent, W.F., 2017. Oxygen depletion in subarctic peatland thaw lakes. Arctic Science, 3(2): 406-428. DOI: 10.1139/as-2016-0048.
Deshpande, B., Crevecoeur, S., Matveev, A., Vincent, W.F., 2016. Bacterial production in subarctic peatland lakes enriched by thawing permafrost. Biogeosciences, 13(15): 4411-4427. DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4411-2016.
Matveev, A., Laurion, I., Deshpande, B., Bhiry, N., Vincent, W.F., 2016. High methane emissions from thermokarst lakes in subarctic peatlands. Limnology and Oceanography, 61(S1 - Special Issue: Methane Emissions from Oceans, Wetlands, and Freshwater Habitats: New Perspectives and Feedbacks on Climate): S150-S164. DOI: 10.1002/lno.10311.
Deshpande, B., MacIntyre, S., Matveev, A., Vincent, W.F., 2015. Oxygen dynamics in permafrost thaw lakes: Anaerobic bioreactors in the Canadian subarctic. Limnology and Oceanography, 60(5): 1656-1670. DOI: 10.1002/lno.10126.