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Observations on sediment chemistry of the Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada



Observations on sediment chemistry of the Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada



IAHS-AISH Publication 263(Pages 203-209



A study was conducted to examine sediment chemistry in the outer, mid and apex areas of the Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada. Delta sediments consisted primarily of quartz (60-82%) with lesser amounts of calcite (2-6%), feldspars (8-15%), micas (3-7%), montmorillonite (2-9%), dolomite/ankerite (2-4%) and kaolinite (3-5%). The mineralogy and major element composition was remarkably similar in the outer, mid and apex areas of the delta. Concentrations of Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, As and Hg were significantly higher in the mid-delta. Elevated metal concentrations in this section of the delta are related to geomorphic and hydraulic controls, which cause selective sorting and fining of sediment in smaller mid-delta channels where vegetation is important for sediment trapping and metal cycling. Concentrations of Hg, Cd and As in all samples exceeded the Potential Effect Level of the Canadian Sediment Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life.

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Accession: 003513158

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